Updated: 12/08/2013 8:19 AM
Created: 12/07/2013 10:31 AM WNYT.com
By: Dan Bazile
WATERFORD - Firefighters say the McDonald's restaurant on Saratoga Avenue in Waterford went up in flames around 3:30 a.m. Saturday.
A grease fire apparently started in the kitchen and spread quickly throughout the building, collapsing the roof. It took firefighters nearly two hours to put the breaks on the flames.
The five employees working at the time got out safely and called 911.
Owner Roger Grout of Clifton Park says he understands Christmas is just around the corner and he's making arrangements to make sure the 50 employees are not out of job.
"We've got some good folks and we want to keep them working. The good news is nobody was hurt," Grout said.
While he was more worried about the workers, Grout says this restaurant was a big loss. It was his first as a locally owned franchisee during his 45 years with the McDonald's Corporation.
"Well, there's a lot of history here," said Grout. "I started as a high school kid back in 1969. It’s sad, you know. It’s a piece of me."
He had plans to renovate. The fire is forcing him to speed up the schedule and move into reconstruction. He's not sure exactly when customers will be able to get a burger again here, but the sooner, he says, the better.