At 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 9, a gas-heated cooking wok at Panda Express in the Hammon Student Center overheated and caught fire, resulting in the restaurant temporarily closing down.
Sue Blanton, Aramark retail manager, said the employee on duty entered the area and saw flames rising from the wok. After unsuccessfully attempting to turn off the burners, the employee was forced to pull the fire alarm. Water and extinguishing foam from the reserves above the wok table soon put out the flames.
Blanton said there is no saying when Panda Express will reopen, but she hopes it will be on Monday, Sept. 12.
“We have to get the fire extinguishers refilled before we can reopen,” Blanton said. “We can’t reopen without that system in place, it’s not safe.”
Aramark employees are currently working on cleaning the mess made by the water and foam.