SMITHFIELD – Two people were transported to the hospital after an incident Thursday afternoon at the Outback Steakhouse at 911 Outlet Center Drive.
At 1:04pm, the Smithfield Fire Department, Smithfield Police Department, and several Johnston County EMS ambulances responded to the restaurant.
According to the Smithfield Fire Department, an electrical issue in a panel box caused exhaust hood fans that remove smoke from the stove to stop working. Smoke filled the kitchen area, then other parts of the building.
Several employees reported having difficulty breathing.
Two people were transported by EMS to the local hospital for further evaluation.
The building was briefly evacuated until the smoke could be cleared.
An electrician responded and the restaurant is expected to reopen this afternoon.
(This story has been updated to correct the number of people transported to the hospital from three to two.)