Fast food giant McDonald’s has faced backlash after firefighters who were battling a large blaze nearby were denied free drinks.
Emergency crews had been tackling a fire at a retailer named B&M at York’s Clifton Moor retail park on Saturday (local time) in England, when a number of firefighters reportedly approached a store nearby during a break.
A Facebook post on the Cleveland and North Yorkshire Alert claims the firefighters asked for free refreshments as they did not have cash on them, but staff were overheard declining their request.
“Firefighters were overheard walking into the McDonald’s at Clifton Moor, looking to see if they would supply firefighters with just a drink, now these guys and girls aren’t going to be carrying money with them when tackling a burning building, so they would of required them free..” the online post read.
“Instead a lady overheard McDonalds decline to provide teas and coffees for the firefighters and bought around 16 teas/coffees herself.”
Steve Brown, who according to the BBC is a crew manager at North Yorkshire Fire Service, said he was one of the firefighters there.
“Thank you to the lady and young man who brought us the teas and coffees, really appreciated,” he wrote on the post.
The post has been shared more than 9,000 and received close to 3,000 comments, with one person saying it was “disgusting.”
“These guys deserve food and drink free, they put their lives at risk day in, day out,” the Facebook user wrote.
“My son is a firefighter and this is just downright disgraceful when these firefighters have just tackled an incredibly serious fire,” another said.
McDonalds has since apologised to firefighters in a statement saying “they should have been provided with free refreshments on the night”.
It has also offered to reimburse the customer who bought drinks for the firefighters.
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A spokesman for the fast food giant said in a statement obtained by York Press that it values the work carried out by 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 and rescue service.”