Spontaneous combustion of tempura flakes blamed for sushi restaurant fires

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A popular sushi ingredient is usually believed to be the reason for seven cafe fires across the nation, after authorities discovered the item could self-heat and automatically combust.

The particular fires, 5 of which occurred in Wisconsin, were the particular “result of the preparation technique” used to create deep-fried tempura flakes, generally referred to as “crunch” but correctly called tenkasu or agedama, according to the statement through the city of Madison’s fire section.

The process to make the flakes involves making use of vegetable or even soybean essential oil and deeply frying the particular batter within patches prior to letting it awesome in a dish. However since the oils are able to self-heat, because the flakes cool-down, the essential oil heats up in the contained atmosphere, according to the declaration.

“These situations can create a setting for a open fire to occur, inch the declaration read.

Kara Nelson, a fireplace investigator using the Madison Fireplace Department, informed ABC Information Tuesday that will surveillance video from the fire confirmed the particular blazes were only available in a dish with the tempura flakes. The lady compared the particular combustion to some similar procedure that can occur with greasy rags.

“Let’s say somebody wipes the particular stain plan some cloths. The essential oil will match the o2 in the air and that chemical substance process, this releases warmth, ” Nelson said. “If the cloths are bunched up plus cannot desolve then the atmosphere for a open fire to occur is established. ”

The lady noted that will in making the particular tempura flakes, the process entails heating up the particular oil plus placing these questions bowl in order to cool.

“You have an essential oil that can go through spontaneous burning and its warmed, so we are going to helping the procedure, ” Nelson said. “And anything that is definitely gonna maintain that temperature from having the ability to dissipate, it may raise to the stage where a open fire could happen. ”

2 of the fire, both from sushi dining places in Madison, resulted in problems totaling about $575, 500, according to the fireplace department. None resulted in accidental injuries.

One blaze broke away at Sumo Steakhouse plus Sushi Pub on Apr 5 in around two: 30 the. m. Medical personnel entered the particular restaurant via a hatch on the top and discovered the kitchen within flames. The sprinkler was able to prevent the fireplace from additional damaging house, and the cafe has given that reopened.

An additional fire happened on Might 10 in the Madison cafe Takara right before midnight. Medical personnel were able to rapidly extinguish the particular fire, although the damage had been extensive. Takara remains shut.

Nelson mentioned similar situations have occurred in St Paul, Mn, and Ashburn, Virginia. The particular Bureau associated with Alcohol, Cigarettes, Firearms plus Explosives assisted in every investigation.

The girl hopes the interest around the sushi ingredient may raise recognition to the ability to combust and advised anyone producing the tempura flakes to not leave all of them unattended immediately and to put them out there flat instead of piled in the mound.

Nevertheless , she observed that the combustable is only achievable under particular conditions.

“We’ve got queries like, ‘If we eat this particular are we all gonna automatically combust?, ‘” she mentioned. “And the solution to that is not any. Vegetable essential oil and canola oil possess the highest inclination to undergo natural combustion, yet it’s not going to do it seated on the rack. ”


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