The Madison fire department is putting out a warning to Japanese and sushi restaurants after two of them had fires this spring due to an unusual source.
Investigator Kara Nelson says the fires started when baskets of fried breading used to top sushi rolls caught on fire spontaneously.
“A lot of us are very familiar with the process of spontaneous combustion. It happens with haystacks, it happens with mulch.”
Nelson says that the crumbs were fried and put into a colander to dry out, but were left hot overnight, catching on fire from the residual heat. They’re taking a closer look to try and see how these fires start and how they can be prevented.
“Is it the type of oil that they’re using? Is it the temperature they’re cooking it at? Is it the batter they’re making? And this is out of our scope, this needs to go to a laboratory.”
She’s hoping that proper research will help business owners have a plan of best practices for dealing with the topping.
The two stores had combined damages of around 575-thousand dollars.