McDonald’s and Mall Burn as Employee Games On
This past October, a McDonald's and its adjacent shopping mall in China were heavily damaged due to an electrical fire which originated in the fast food restaurant's delivery area.
Recently, the Beijing fire department released the main reasons as to why the fire did as much damage as it did. Unfortunately, a delayed response to the fire was a primary reason as to why it spread so far. And who did the fire department deem responsible for this delayed response? The overnight employee who was ignoring the alarms and spending his night gaming.
As reported by the good folks at Kotaku, the fire originated from the power unit of an electric delivery bike malfunctioning as the bike was being stored and charged for the night. Based on the closed circuit security systems of the McDonald's and the mall, the fire became apparent at around 2:46 am. The smoke became thick and an overnight female employee can be seen running to exit the building only a few minutes after the fire started.
So what did the mall's overnight staff do to combat the fire? Well, the person who was in the mall's security station, which overlooks all major controls and alarms for the entire complex, simply ignored it. At 2:53 AM, a security officer in charge of the complex was filmed deactivating the in-house fire alarm in order to return to playing a video game on his tablet device. In China, some fire safety systems require a manual activation of the in-house sprinklers and fire alarms need to be confirmed on-site in order to reach a local fire department.
Once the employee decided that there was a legitimate fire issue, he finally put his game down and tried sending for help; but he didn't know how. He had to find his other coworker and get him to activate the fire safety system for him. So the fire department, which was a very short distance away, didn't arrive on the scene until a good twenty minutes after the McDonald's employees were seen fleeing the building.
China has sparked a lot of controversy by having video games deemed illegal until the ban was lifted in 2013. The reporting of this story seems to coincide with the governmental agendas China has implemented in order to narrow down the gaming industry. But the big question that remains is, "are video games to blame for this fire?" Well, the employees who fled the building who could have reported the fire as well.