The Burger King near the Interstate 81 interchange in Strasburg will be closed for several months after a grease fire early Friday morning.

Around 4 a.m., a worker showed up at the fast food restaurant at 33964 Old Valley Pike to begin the day's work and turned on the fryer machine, Shenandoah County Fire Marshal Dave Ferguson said in a phone interview.

Shortly after turning on the machine, it started smoking and a fire broke out, Ferguson said. The lone worker in the building escaped uninjured.

Fire units from Woodstock, Toms Brook, Strasburg and Middletown, as well as the Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue Department responded and had the blaze under control within about 15 to 30 minutes, Ferguson said.

A gas line with a pilot light that was still active allowed for the fire to keep reigniting as crews attacked it, Ferguson said.

A faulty sprinkler system that was activated also allowed the fire to grow, Ferguson said. The fire was contained in the fryer machine area, but flames did go through the chute that extends out the top of the building, Ferguson said.

Heat damage in the kitchen area and smoke damage throughout the building also resulted, Ferguson said. Soot was left in the dining area, Ferguson said, adding that the  roof and trusses were undamaged.

“It’s a shame,” Ferguson, a fan of the Burger King, said of the prolonged closing it faces. The fryer machine was reportedly having problems recently, Ferguson said.

No injuries were reported in the incident. No traffic disruption occurred due to the early morning  timing of the fire and all units cleared the scene around 8 a.m., Ferguson said.

Correction: This story has been updated to correct Dave Ferguson's first name.

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