AUGUSTA — Chipotle Mexican Grill at the Marketplace at Augusta was evacuated and closed down Sunday after a worker smelled a rubbery, burning odor and chose to pull a fire alarm, accidentally setting off the restaurant’s fire extinguishing system.

The restaurant had to close for the rest of Sunday so the material left by the discharged fire extinguisher system could be cleaned up.

Augusta Battalion Chief Steve Leach said workers at Chipotle were in the back of the business when they spotted a little haze and smelled a rubbery, burning odor. While pulling the fire alarm to summon help and alert people in the restaurant, the Ansul fire suppression system was also activated, causing a discharge of the fire extinguisher system over the cooking area.

“They’ll be closed for the night because of that,” Leach said. “They have to clean it up before they get back up and running.”

The haze and odor that first prompted the response by firefighters, Leach said, came from a motor that runs a carbonated beverage system.

There was no damage to the building.

Firefighters were on the scene for 20 to 30 minutes.


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