CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Sushi ingredient spontaneously combusts, causing fire at Madison restaurant

Madison (WQOW) – Video shows a sushi topping spontaneously combusting in a Wisconsin restaurant hours after closing.

There have actually been two fires at two different restaurants recently in Madison: one was at Sumo Steakhouse in April, the other was at Takara Japanese Restaurant in May. The video is from the Sumo fire in April. In it, you can see the flames break out in the kitchen after 2 a.m., long after everyone left the restaurant.

After investigation, firefighters now believe both fires are a result of a technique used to make a sushi topping often referred to as “crunch” or “crunchy”. The garnish is made with water and flour batter, deep fried, and left to drain and cool.

There are three reasons crunch can self-heat: vegetable oil, deep-frying batter, and allowing the crunch to pile up and cool unattended. Cooking oils can sometimes self-heat under certain circumstances. Madison Fire Department Investigator Kara Nelson said it’s very similar to how hay bale fires start.

Now the Madison Fire Department is hoping to partner with a lab to learn more about how this happens.

Savanna Tomei

Savanna Tomei

Savanna is the 6 p.m. producer and co-anchor, and also anchors the 10 p.m. newscast.

More News

STORMTRACKER 18 WEATHER
Eau Claire
83°
Menomonie
Chetek
83°
Durand
Ladysmith
Neillsville
83°
Rice Lake
82°
New Richmond
84°
Black River Falls
Medford
River Falls
Duluth
77°
Green Bay
83°
La Crosse
85°
Madison
87°
Milwaukee
82°
Twin Cities
84°
Connect with WQOW
Top Stories
Scroll to top
Skip to content