NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nashville Fire Department investigators arrested a Taco Bell shift leader after police say employees set a fire that caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage while they were playing with fireworks inside the restaurant.
On Monday, investigators charged 25-year-old Courtney Mayes with felony aggravated arson.
The fire was set on July 5 at the Taco Bell located at 5510 Nolensville Pike. The store’s management contacted fire investigators and reported surveillance video that showed employees causing the fire, according to the Nashville Fire Department.
Investigators said the surveillance footage showed employees locking the restaurant to keep customers from entering the business. They then ran around the store with fireworks in their hands, officials said.
At one point the employees went into the men’s restroom and returned to the lobby a few minutes later and placed an item in a trash can near the door.
Employees went outside the restaurant and began recording video of the trash can on their phones, officials said. While doing so, the employees locked themselves out of the store and called 911 when they saw smoke coming from the trash can, investigators say.
Firefighters forced their way into the store and were able to extinguish the fire. They also found damage from fireworks inside the men’s restroom.
The fire caused an estimated $30,000 to the building. Fire officials said more arrests were expected in the coming days.