- Fire broke out at 4.30pm Saturday at B&M bargains at a retail park in York
- Firefighters worked in shifts and some had time for a refreshment break
- They had no money so asked McDonald's staff for freebies but were refused
- McDonald's today apologised and said they should have been given drinks
A McDonald's branch caused fury when staff refused to give firemen free coffees and teas after they tackled a huge blaze at a retail park.
Dozens of firemen in 10 engines were yesterday called to a raging fire at home store B&M at the Clifton Moor Centre in York.
The flames took so long to put out that the firefighters worked in shifts and some had time for a refreshment break.
They walked one mile to McDonald's on the other side of the retail park and asked for free teas and coffees because they did not carry money in their fire-fighting gear.
Restaurant staff refused before a kind customer stepped up and bought the group a round.
A Facebook post on a community group which slammed McDonald's has been shared more than 6,000 times.The incident has divided opinion: some say the firefighters should have brought money or enjoyed free tap water while others insist McDonald's staff should have handed out free drinks on the house.
A spokesman for McDonald's apologised and said: 'We value the fantastic work of our 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 & rescue service.'
The fire started at 4.30pm on Saturday and burned well into the night. Shops were evacuated and no-one was injured.