The Merritt Fire and Rescue Department (MFRD) responded late last night (December 27) to reports of an electrical fire, which has temporarily closed a local fast food restaurant.

A&W on Voght Street will be closed until further notice following an electrical fire in the building. MFRD crews initially responded to A&W at 11:20PM after RCMP members saw smoke filling the building while responding to a call of an alarm going off.

“Once firefighters forced access, they were able to contain the fire damage to a small area at the front of the restaurant,” confirmed Merritt Fire Chief David Tomkinson.

“However, smoke damage is extensive. In total, 13 firefighters remained on scene until 12:30am.”

The fire was caused by a short in the lights of an artificial Christmas tree that had been left plugged in. No injuries have been reported, and the MFRD confirmed that the building was unoccupied at the time of the fire.