A teenager set a vacant McDonald’s restaurant on fire, causing intense flames that forced firefighters out of the building at one point, Channel 2 Action News reported.
Fire crews responded to the blaze on S. Main Street on Sunday.
It was already “fully engulfed”once firefighters arrived, according to Alpharetta Police Officer Howard Miller, a spokesman for the department.
At one point, the flames were so strong that the firefighters had to get out of the building, though it was eventually extinguished.
“Eventually we had to go external to make sure everyone was okay and the fire was under control and then go back inside,” said state Sen. John Albers, a volunteer with the Alpharetta Fire Department who responded to the fire.
A witness saw a teenager quickly walking away from the building and told police. Officers soon saw a teenager matching the witness’s description at a nearby park.
“Officers stopped the young man, spoke to him, learned that he was a juvenile and after speaking to him and the items they found on him that he was definitely a person of interest in starting the arson at the McDonald’s,” Miller said.
The teen has not yet been arrested, but is likely facing felony arson charges, Miller said. He has been interviewed by police and his mother retained a lawyer on his behalf, Channel 2 reported.
Since he has not yet been charged and is a juvenile, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is not identifying him.
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