About two dozen people were evacuated when smoke filled Romano’s Macaroni Grill outside the Mall of Georgia in Buford on Monday afternoon.
Gwinnett County Fire Capt. Tommy Rutledge said an employee called 911 after noticing smoke coming out of the electrical outlets on the wall in a storage area near the kitchen.
"Smoke quickly filled the restaurant as staff and patrons evacuated," Rutledge wrote in an email. "An employee doused the outlets with a portable fire extinguisher prior to exiting the building. They reported seeing smoke inside, but no flames were visible. Everyone was outside-safe when the fire trucks arrived and no injuries were reported."
Rutledge said the fire was reported around 1 p.m.
The exact cause of the fire is undetermined, but at this point it appears to be accidental, according to investigators. The restaurant will remain closed for cleanup.