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Waffle House patrons evacuated
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Waffle House HVAC Fire

Customers at a local Waffle House were evacuated when a rooftop HVAC system malfunctioned and caught fire Thursday.

We were having breakfast, and they told us to get out, Waffle House customer Mandi Brison said.

Dawson County Emergency Services responded to a call Waffle House employees made at 10:04 a.m. that smoke was inside the building and coming from the roof, authorities said.

Crews arrived within two minutes of dispatch and began investigating, EMS Battalion Chief Jason Dooley said. The HVAC unit on the roof overheated and caught fire.

Crews disconnected power to the unit, extinguished a small fire and evacuated smoke from the structure.

Employees and patrons were allowed back in the structure after it was determined there were no further hazards, Dooley said. We wanted to get people back inside as quickly as possible due to the below freezing temperatures.

The building was released back to restaurant management.

Management stated to us that he had a maintenance crew on the way to repair the affected unit, Dooley said.

The restaurant is located at 6636 Highway 53 East.

A new Dawson County ambulance put into service 10 minutes earlier was part of the response team.