A fast-moving two-alarm fire that damaged the Leesport McDonald’s on Wednesday, May 20 likely originated as a result of a discarded cigarette, according to State Police.

The investigation showed that the fire originated on the exterior wall at the ground in the area of the mulch bed, and likely originated as a result of a discarded cigarette by someone approaching the door to the restaurant, State Police reported on Thursday, May 21.

At about 2 p.m., crews responded to a report of a fire on the front wall of the McDonald’s located at 5500 Pottsville Pike (Route 61) in Ontelaunee Township, Berks County. Upon arriving they encountered fire extending from the ground to the roof along one wall.

State Police report that the wind conditions made suppression efforts difficult.

“Fire crews conducting suppression efforts on the roof were forced to quickly suspend efforts and get out of the way of the fast-moving fire by fleeing the rooftop. Several fire tools were damaged as a result of them fleeing the roof,” reported State Police.

There were no injuries. The highway was closed for two hours as firefighters battled the blaze and secured the scene. It reopened about 4:30 p.m.

No damage estimate is available at this time. The store is hoping to resume drive-through operations within the next several weeks.

The property is owned by Golden Arch Limited Partnership, according to online county records.

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