(Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN) [Order this photo]
An electrical short behind the "Wendy's" sign on the front of the building on Indianapolis Road on the city's East Side reportedly caused a fire to begin, sending smoke through the ventilation system and ceiling tiles.
"I smelled it before (I saw it)," worker Joann Whittaker said. "Electrical fires have a very distinct smell. I looked up and could see smoke and people were getting up."
The dining room was almost completely full, workers said, and patrons began rushing outside quickly.
"I had a full line of cars in the drive through," Megan Farmer said. "People were freaking out."
The Greencastle Fire Department responded to the scene, tearing the sign off the front of the building to get inside.
Assistant fire chief Jeff Mace said the Wendy's staff had already attacked the flames with dry chemical extinguishers before firefighters arrived.
"It appears the wiring behind the sign started the fire," Mace said.
The amount of damage is unknown, though it appears to be noninvasive as the restaurant was reopened Monday afternoon with approval from the State Board of Health.
Other Wendy's workers present during the incident included general manager Tabitha Kendall and crew members Hunter Winslow, Angus McGaughey and John Elmore.
"It was like Black Friday," Winslow said. "Except it's Monday."
With the dining room filling with smoke, diners and workers hurried to evacuate, with the exception of one who asked if they could hurriedly finish making a Spicy Chicken Sandwich for him.
The Madison Fire Department and Operation Life assisted on scene.