ROCKINGHAM — Sonic Drive-In was forced to turn away more than 30 customers Monday evening after a fire detection system malfunctioned, potentially contaminating the food.
“It went off by itself,” said Sandy Faircloth, owner and operator of the 1115 East Broad Ave. restaurant location. “(We) had to stop serving food because you can’t risk people getting sick.”
Faircloth said that he wasn’t sure if the system only sprayed water or if there was a fire-retardant chemical in the spray that could be hazardous to customers. The spray was confined to the fryer and the grill.
The malfunction was not with the overhead sprinklers.
The store was shut down around 4:30 p.m. late Monday afternoon, just before rush hour. Faircloth said it could be six to eight hours before he felt it was safe to cook with the fryer and grill again.
He offered free drinks and ice cream to customers to apologize for the inconvenience.