NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nashville Fire Department investigators arrested a Taco Bell shift leader after employees allegedly set a fire that caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage while they were playing with fireworks inside the restaurant.
On Monday, NFD 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 footage that showed employees causing the fire, according to the NFD.
Investigators said the surveillance footage showed employees locking the restaurant to keep customers from entering the business. They then allegedly ran around the store with fireworks in their hands. 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 trashcan near the door.
Employees allegedly went outside the restaurant and began recording video of the trash can on their phones. 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. NFD said more arrests were expected in the coming days.