Business owner credits employees’ fast thinking during Saturday night fire

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MADISON, Ala. — It’s the usual busy weekend night at Champy’s Famous Fried Chicken on Madison Boulevard.

Employee Aaron Moll, a recent Bob Jones High School graduate, leaves the kitchen to take a bathroom break.

“And then as I came to the men’s bathroom, I tried opening the door, and before I got to it a man came out,” Moll said. “And when the door opened up, there was like four foot tall flames just coming at me. And first I didn’t know what happened, I was just confused. Just in complete shock.”

Moll then alerted his coworkers, who brought the fire extinguisher before it was too late.

“I’m here all the time. It’s just my job,” Moll said.

The restaurant’s owner Eugene Jung said that quick thinking gave plenty of time for him to handle the building flames.

“The staff was very calm, (they) reacted quickly,” Jung said. “They knew where the fire extinguisher was. Lacey, one of the servers, grabbed it for me, and we put it out.”

Huntsville Fire Marshal Dan Wilkerson credits businesses and their employees in making sure no one got hurt across all of Saturday night’s reported blazes, including in Madison.

“The occupants of the buildings are to be commended for identifying what was going on, documenting what they were seeing, and also intervening with fire extinguishers to limit the damage,” Wilkerson said.

That makes Jung a happy boss, but he also warns other business owners that you can never know what to expect on a given night.

“You got to have a plan,” Jung said.” And make sure your fire extinguishers work, and your staff knows where they are.”

Moll, who first discovered the flames, said he was able to get a video of the man’s license plate and gave it to Madison Police Department as soon as units arrived.

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