3 Elk Grove Restaurants Targeted by Prank Caller

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ELK GROVE -- Three Elk Grove area restaurants were the victims of prank calls Monday night, and for two of them, the situation led to serious consequences that forced them to shut down early.

A Five Guys Burgers on Laguna Springs Drive and a Wendy’s and Panera Bread on Bond Road all got the same prank call, asking that employees test their suppression systems. The systems function like fire alarms and are located above restaurant kitchen stoves in case of fire.

Employees at the Wendy’s and Five Guys restaurants pulled the levers, releasing a liquid suppressant that covered their respective kitchens, forcing the two to close down early for the night. Both will be required to go through city inspections before opening again.

"It creates a mess in the business yes. Those businesses have to be cleaned up and they have to be, before they can reopen their systems have to be recharged,” said Paul Zehnder, Consumnes Fire Department Battalion Chief. Consumnes Fire Crews were dispatched to all three restaurants, after having already sent crews to Santa Clarita to help in the effort against the more than 20,000 acre Sand fire. Fire officials say they were spread thin as a result of the prank calls.

Fire officials made contact with the caller at the Panera, and are continuing to pursue information on the caller’s whereabouts. It’s unclear whether charges may be filed against the person if he or she is found.

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