Tags Posts tagged with "Fire"


deep fryer fire

Last week a food truck in Venice, CA had a fire which engulfed the truck in flames. The fire originated in in the deep fryer. Luckily nobody was hurt, but the damage to a truck may require an entire kitchen remodel and weeks of rebuilding while the truck is off the street.

Today we’ll look at the causes of these fires and how food truck operators can keep their employees and mobile kitchen safe from disasters like this.

A deep fat fryer is a vat, or multiple vats, filled with cooking oil that is heated by burners running through tubes underneath.  The tubes may serve as a heat exchanger for a gas burner, or electric coils. Baskets of food are submerged in cooking oil heated from 325ºF to 375ºF.

A grease fire typically occurs when cooking oil becomes too hot. When heating, oils first start to boil, then they’ll start smoking, and then they’ll catch on fire. Most vegetable oils have a smoking point around 450°F, while animal fats like lard or goose fat will start smoking around 375°F.

What Causes Deep Fat Fryer Fires?

Poor Mechanical Maintenance

Open fryers are particularly susceptible to poor mechanical maintenance.  Normal cooking temperature for deep fryer vegetable oil is about 375ºF.  Thermostat malfunction is a primary cause for deep fryer fires in commercial kitchens. If a thermostat malfunctions, cooking temperatures can rise. At 424ºF oil starts to smoke.  Smoke production will increase as the temperature rises.

Auto ignition takes place at approximately 523º to 788ºF, depending on the type of oil, the amount of impurities in it and usage.  New “high-temperature” fryers are designed to maintain the heat of the oil longer and cook at higher temperatures, making these units a more significant fire risk.  Appliance manufacturers should be involved in notifying end-users that new “high-temp” fryers require upgraded fire-extinguishing systems.

Fryer Grease Buildup

In nearly all fryer designs, the gas exhaust vent for the heat from the burner elements goes up the back of the unit behind the vat.  With repeated splashing a substantial coating of grease can build up and harden on top of and around this exhaust stack.

This residue provides an excellent fuel source especially if some of the buildup falls close to the burner elements below.  Most new fryers are constructed with the chimney open at the bottom, so any debris that falls down the gas flue should fall straight to the floor.

Inadequate Clearance

NFPA 96 requires a clearance of at least 16 inches between fryers and any open flame burners.  An 8 inch metal or tempered glass panel can be used to achieve this clearance. If this clearance is not met, open flames can ignite the cooking oil.

What to do if a fire does break out?

  • Turn the Heat Off. Don’t try to move the fryer. You might accidentally splash the burning oil.
  • Cover the Fryer with a Metal Lid. Fire cannot exist in the absence of oxygen. With the lid on (and the heat off), the fire should quickly consume all the oxygen and put itself out.
  • Pour on Baking Soda. Baking soda will extinguish grease fires, but only if they’re small. It takes a lot of baking soda to do the job.
  • Spray the Fryer with a Class K Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher. This is your last resort, as fire extinguishers will contaminate your kitchen.
  • Get Out and Call 911. If the fire does break out of control don’t try to be a hero. Get yourself and your entire staff out of the truck and call 911.

What not to do:

  • Do Not Use Water. Pouring water can cause the oil to splash and spread the fire. The vaporizing water can also carry grease particles in it, also spreading the fire.
  • Do Not Throw Any Other Baking Product On the Fire. Flour might look like baking soda, but it won’t react the same. Only baking soda can help put out a grease fire.

Deep Fryer Maintenance and Service

Every two weeks:

  • Take down, clean, and degrease the baffle filters in the hood to reduce buildup and the risk of fire.

Every six months:

  • Hire a professional cleaning contractor to clean the exhaust duct and flue above the fryer.
  • Have a fire service professional inspect and service the food truck fire suppression system.
  • Filter and change the oil consistently, per the manufacturer’s specifications, to help prevent a fire.
  • Confirm that fire suppression nozzles line up directly over each deep fryer and cooking appliance in your food truck kitchen.
  • Confirm that a Class K fire extinguisher is located inside the truck near of the hood system for additional fire suppression capability.
  • Prior to operating, review the operations manual provided by the manufacturer. Follow all recommendations on proper installation and maintenance of deep frying equipment.
  • Provide employee safety. Provide proper training before employees are allowed to operate a deep fryer and adequate supervision while it is being operated.

We hope this article shed some light on keeping your staff members and food truck safe from deep fryer fires. If you have any additional tips, please share them in the comment section below.

venice food truck fire

VENICE, CA – A food truck’s deep-fat fryer caught fire  caught on fire while it was parked in Venice during a monthly art event on Friday, Los Angeles firefighters said.

The Miami Nights truck ignited in flames at about 7:12 p.m. at the intersection of Abbot Kinney Boulevard and Andalusia Avenue during the First Friday event, which brings artists, food and music together every month. Firefighters quickly extinguished the flames.

No one was injured in the blaze.

Later Friday night, the food truck tweeted: “Thank you for all your support, everyone is ok God is Great. Be back In a few days! Have a great night everyone.”

milwaukee food-truck-fire

MILWAUKEE, WI – Milwaukee Fire officials were on the scene of a fire involving a food truck that occurred near S. 16th Street and Washington Street in Milwaukee.

A deputy fire chief with MFD tells FOX6 News a battalion chief was on the scene of a fatal crash near Cesar Chavez Drive and Mineral Street was leaving the scene when he noticed smoke.

The chief followed the smoke — and discovered the food truck on fire.

The food truck that caught fire apparently contained propane tanks — but firefighters were able to knock down and put out the fire before it reached those tanks.

No injured were reported as a result of this fire.

A damage estimate is not yet available.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

Find the original article at fox6now.com <here>

UMD Green TidingsUNIVERSITY MARYLAND, MD – Four employees suffered injuries when the Green Tidings food truck caught fire Friday afternoon.

They went to the University Health Center and were later transported to a hospital to treat their burns, Dining Services spokesman Bart Hipple wrote in an email. Three of the employees were released, as of last night.

“We are all sending our best hopes and wishes for speedy recovery to the staff of the truck,” he wrote. “We are firstly worried about the people who have been injured and then will focus on possible next steps for the food truck.”

The nonstudent employees were cleaning up after the truck closed when a grease fire ignited at about 3:20 p.m. Friday, Hipple wrote.

The truck sits behind the North Campus Dining Hall so a fire marshal can assess the situation. The university fire marshal said the fire started from a cooking accident and did not damage the truck.

“I think this is tragic,” Hipple wrote. “The staff of the truck is a skilled, energetic, capable group of people who have worked very hard to make every meal great; not just the food but also the whole experience. We don’t yet know exactly what happened and so can’t know how it could have been prevented.”

Green Tidings’ Twitter account and website states the truck will remain closed until further notice, but Hipple anticipates the truck will reopen after spring break.

Find the entire article at diamondbackonline.com <here>

RELATED: Food Truck Fire Safety Basics

food patrol rochesterROCHESTER, NY – A fire dealt a severe blow to a food truck business on Merlin Street Sunday night.

Firefighters said that the truck used by Food Patrol was gutted after propane used in its kitchen fueled a fire around 11:30 p.m. The owner was nearby when the fire broke out, but was not hurt.

The flames were so intense that they melted the aluminum siding of a nearby house.

Investigators said that the scene was unusual for them, given that food trucks are still fairly new to the area.

The owner of the truck told firefighters that he was supposed to meet with health inspectors Monday about the business.

The investigation into the fire is ongoing.

Mobile Cuisine sends out our best wishes for the vendor and parties involved.

Find the original story from 13wham.com <here>

lulu food truck fire houstonHOUSTON, TX – The new Lulu Blues: a Creperie food truck is out of commission after catching on fire Saturday.

Business owner/operator Laura Duffey was on her way to River Oaks Beauty Spa to inaugurate service when she pulled over after seeing white smoke coming from the engine.

After she got out of the truck, the white smoke turned to black and the truck burned down around 5:30 p.m. on Loop 610 South, just before the Memorial Drive exit, Duffey said.

“We hope to reopen, but couldn’t say how soon,” Duffey said in an email. “It depends on our insurance company.”

Duffey said the truck had a new engine and a recently replaced starter.

The cause of the fire is being investigated, she said.

Find the original article by Katherine Feser at chron.com <here>

Denton Food Truck Fire Kendrick’s BBQ and More
Image from http://ntdaily.com/

DENTON, TX – A food truck caught fire at the southeast corner of the Denton Community Market on Saturday morning, officials said.

Kenneth Hedges, spokesman for the Denton Fire Department, said the call came in at 10:24 a.m. and the fire was put out quickly.

The truck, he said, was in the parking lot near Sycamore Street when the generator on the truck caught fire.

The back of new food truck Kendrick’s BBQ and More was engulfed in flames after a recently fixed generator blew. Two workers inside made it out just in time and a nearby vendor called the fire department. There were no reported injuries or damages other than the truck.

Both workers attempted to extinguish the fire with water, but the smoke and flames only intensified. Bystanders took photos and videos as fire truck sirens were heard nearing the scene.

Firefighters extinguished the flames in less than a minute. Two trucks were on the scene as well as a handful of Denton police officers. Officials inspected the food truck to make sure there were no other outstanding safety hazards.

The exact cause of the fire is under investigation.

VA food truck fireFAIRFAX CO, VA – The driver and passenger of a food truck were injured in a fire in Fairfax County Monday morning.

Fire crews were called to the intersection of Route 50 and Majestic Lane near the Greenbriar Town Center around 7 a.m. The fire scorched the roof of the La Gata food truck and appeared to have come from the back of the vehicle.

One person was transported to an area hospital via helicopter while the second was taken by  ambulance. Both are said to have suffered injuries that are not life-threatening.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Find the original article by nbcwashington.com <here>

MORRISTOWN, TN – Mobile Cuisine’s Rookie Food Truck of the Year; Crazy Good Burgers will be out of commission, for some time, after it caught fire last Friday morning.


crazy-good-bugers fire
Image from citizentribune.com

The popular Morristown food truck was at the West Andrew Johnson Highway and Walters Drive intersection when an area around the grill burst into the flames. After unsuccessful attempts to douse the fire themselves, the Morristown Fire Department quickly descended upon the scene and managed to get the fire out in close to 15 minutes. No one was injured in the blaze.

The owners say they hope to be up and running again as soon as possible, but are asking for a little help in the rebuilding of their food truck’s kitchen.

They have started a project on Kickstarter.com to gather the $8,000 needed to rebuild their truck. You can watch their Kickstarter Video below.

This project will only be funded if at least $8,000 is pledged by Wednesday May 29, 11:03am EDT.

To find all of the details to this project follow this link to Kickstater.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Hearts stopped when the Bacon Bacon Truck caught fire on November 21st. Owner Jim Angelus was a block away from his Cole Valley storefront (205-A Frederick St.) when an engine fire erupted. The truck was toast.

bacon bacon fire

The Facts:

  • No one was hurt
  • The fire totalled the truck
  • The truck was insured
  • It didn’t smell good and it wasn’t due to grease
  • They will get another truck

Since the truck can’t make its typical rounds, so income is sure to be lost. If you are interested in helping this vendor keep up his sales, drop into the Bacon Bacon commissary, which is open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday.

So in other words, during this holiday season, you can help others by eating bacon.


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