Uproar as hundreds react to McDonald's free drinks firefighters row during B&M fire in York

The major fire at B&M in York
The major fire at B&M in York
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Hundreds of people have given their views on the McDonald's 'free drinks' row over a group of firefighters batting a fire at B&M in York.

Large plumes of smoke were seen emanating from the store, part of York's Clifton Moor retail park, after the blaze broke out on Saturday afternoon.
But fire crews were apparently refused free drinks at the nearby McDonald's, forcing a member of the public to step in and buy the entire crew teas and coffees from their own pocket, according to reports from the scene.

The burned out B&M building after the blaze in York

The burned out B&M building after the blaze in York

North Yorkshire Fire Service crew manager Steve Brown wrote on Facebook in response to news of the refusal spreading online: "I was one of the firefighters their last night, thank you to the lady and young man who brought us the teas and coffees, really appreciated."

North Yorkshire Police said that the fire started in B&M's storage yard, with fire crews calling out 10 pumps, two aerial ladder platforms and two water bowsers in an attempt to bring it under control.

Roads surrounding the premises, including part of the A1237 between Wigginton and Clifton Moor, had to be closed as thick smoke created difficult driving conditions.

The incident is still ongoing, with crews revisiting to damp down hot spots.

The major fire at B&M in York left the store burned to rubble

The major fire at B&M in York left the store burned to rubble

No cause has yet been established.

What you've been saying after the incident:

Pam Clulow said: "There is a difference in "McDonald's" the corporation and the kid serving the guys, who is probably on minimum wage and frightened of giving stuff away for fear of losing their job! Reports like this are just inflammatory (poor choice if words) for the sake of it."

Richard Ellison: "I wonder if it was a big wig at the top who decided no free drinks or some spotty teenager on £4 an hour? Im guessing the latter. Hardly a reason to get the fitch forks and lanterns out."

Adam Porter: "Free water and a place to rest at the very least, If I was the manager it would have been free tea/coffee and or soft drinks/water and a buffet of cheese/chicken burgers and fries!"

Robert Lancaster: "Are McDonald's all franchise? The people on the desk are not the ones taking decisions but the duty manager should have.. probably also on min wage and scared of loosing job. On the plus side hail the customers that stumped up they should be the ones in the papers not the others. Ps big thanks to the firefighters."

Michael Boyne: "Why should they get it for free that earn good money."

Jaci Duszynski:: "McD should now give ALL UK Fire and Police free coffee and tea regardless if there is an emergency or not."

Alex William Hinchcliffe: "Hopefully won’t get slaughtered for this but McDonald's or any other company are not forced to serve free drinks/food in any situation, that’s why they charge for their products , however tasty or horrible they might be.

"The serving of free drinks etc is purely a gesture of goodwill and charity and massive respect to any company who does it in situations like this but McDonald’s is an international organisation which has rules and policies etc it is not like a private business for example who’s owner is present at the scene and can give the order to give free drinks etc.

"Yes they should have given the emergency services free drinks etc if they had any morals at all but just because an emergency situation occurs doesn’t mean they have to. Wouldn’t have been the only company/business in the area not to have helped by giving out free drinks and food

Ollie Birks: "Emergency services should be entitled to jump the line & get free food & drink in these circumstances. A small gesture in my opinion to show our appreciation for what they do.

"You never know if they’ll be saving your life one day!"

Gav Prout: "Not being funny but they have welfare unit's full of drinks at big jobs so why should they be able to walk in to a place n demand Free stuff. Yes they do a very dangerous job but they chose to do that job i have a lot of respect for the fire service but it's the fire services responsibility for the welfare of the it worker's not the high Streets. Nobody else gets free stuff when at work unless it provided by your employers."

Tom Leigh: "So it’s kind of a non story then? At least as far as the high ups are concerned. A welfare unit was on site, surely the crew manager would know this.

"Maybe the unit wasn’t there all the time, it was an on going incident. But regardless, it is an incident that should spark UPROAR. It should be the case that more incredibly profitable businesses offer refreshments without being asked, that would be nice and community spirited. The fire service would be grateful, McDonald’s would get good press and Facebook would have less UPROAR."

Paul Cross: "I understand that they were doing a job of work but is it McDonald’s responsibility to feed and water fire service staff. Surly the responsibility should be with the fire service itself, they have welfare units so yes McDonald’s May have shot themselves in the foot but let’s put the blame where it really belongs"

What McDonald's said after the incident:
“We value the fantastic work of our emergency services and thank the individuals that dedicate their lives to protecting our local community.

“On this occasion, we would like to apologise to the firefighters who bravely tackled last night’s fire.

"They should have been provided with free refreshments on the night as a small recognition for their efforts. McDonald’s will of course be happy to reimburse the member of public involved and we will be in touch directly with our local fire & rescue service.”

What North Yorkshire Fire Service said today after McDonald's apology:
A spokesman for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "The service has a welfare unit which provides refreshments to our firefighters at large incidents and this (welfare unit) did attend the incident at Clifton Moor, York on Saturday evening.

"The Service takes the welfare of staff at incidents seriously and does not have a policy of requesting free refreshments from other businesses.

"We would like to thank the members of the public and local businesses for their patience and assistance during this incident, particularly as we needed to close the A1237.

"There is a likely to be a smell of smoke in the area for some time, so local residents and businesses may still want to keep doors and windows closed."

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service received reports of a fire in a yard at a commercial building at Clifton Moor, at around 16:30 on the 13th October, which had spread to the building.

10 fire engines, two aerial ladder platforms two water bowsers and a high volume pump attended the scene.

Crews used the aerial ladder platforms to fight the fire.