HARRIS COUNTY A group of firefighters in north Harris County say they got the cold shoulder at a local Dairy Queen Wednesday night and were asked to leave.
I did not feel welcome last night, said Ponderosa Fire Dept. engineer James Dickerson.
Six members of the Ponderosa Fire Dept. made the three mile trip from their fire station in the 17000 block of Rolling Creek Dr. to the DQ in the 2000 block of FM 1960.
They wanted ice cream, but say the owner told them to leave because it was bad publicity for their fire truck to be parked in the front parking lot.
We kind of were hurt in a way. We just wanted some ice cream. We re firefighters. We try to do great for the community and here we are being asked to leave from a restaurant, Dickerson told KHOU 11 News.
KHOU 11 News contacted the owner of the DQ who said this all stems from a misunderstanding.
We definitely want firefighters to eat here, said owner Pooya Hejazi.
According to Hejazi, he was out of town Wednesday night and the owner of another Dairy Queen was in charge.
I think if I were here myself, I could have handled it better and I apologize for the miscommunication, said Hejazi.
The miscommunication was over parking, according to Hejazi. He said the DQ owner in charge Wednesday night just wanted the firefighters to move to the back of the parking lot or to the two-foot shoulder on FM 1960.
They meant to say the truck in the parking lot constricts the flow of traffic, it s not good for business and they interpreted it as the fire department coming here is not good for business. That was the key misunderstanding, said Hejazi.
But Dickerson says it s too dangerous to park on the shoulder and nearly impossible to get the fire truck in and out safely if he were to park in the back of the restaurant.
I told him it wasn t going to work for us, it was a busy thoroughfare in the middle of the night, said Dickerson. We told him we would leave. I guess he became agitated and told us we all needed to go.
Hejazi called the Ponderosa Fire Dept. after KHOU 11 News contacted him about the incident.
He spoke with the fire chief and told him that his firefighters are welcome anytime and that the next meal is on him.
No word yet if the Ponderosa firefighters will make a return trip to the Dairy Queen.
I don t know. I really don t know if I would go back, said Dickerson.