Folks in New Bedford, Massachusetts were only starting their Thanksgiving Day when a viscous explosion ripped through a residential neighborhood, destroying three homes and damaging others to varying degrees. At least one person is reported to be seriously injured and was taken to a New Bedford hospital. No specific information is available about the woman’s current condition, although she expected to survive the explosion and fire.
The New Bedford explosion occurred at about 9:45 a.m. Firefighters and emergency personnel and were quick to the scene to combat the blaze and commence search and rescue operations. Fortunately, firefighters were able to contain the intense fire relatively quickly and saved other residences beyond the three that were destroyed by the blast.
Scott Kruger, Acting New Bedford Fire Chief, advised the media and public that an investigation into the precise case of the explosion and fire was underway. Despite the investigation being in a very early stage, the Acting Fire Chief did state that the explosion and fire appeared to have been caused by “a cooking mishap involving deep frying.”
A next door neighbor of the residence where the explosion occurred, who lost her home in the blast, did confirm what the Acting Fire Chief told the press and public. Maui Carvalho told investigators that she was told by her neighbor that he was going to deep fry a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.
Carvalho advised that the neighbor had rigged up a large deep fryer to a propane tank and had started the process of frying whole turkey. “The propane tank exploded, Carvalho said. “He (her neighbor) was cooking the deep-fried turkey and the propane tank exploded. I heard the explosion, but I thought it was thunder.” Moments after the blast, the reality of what occurred became clear in Carvalho’s mind.
The Mayor of New Bedford, Jon Mitchell, released a statement about the devastating Thanksgiving explosion. “This may well be a reminder of the perils of frying a turkey. This is not the first time this has happened – not just here but in many places across the country,” the New Bedford Mayor explained.
Thanksgiving is at the pinnacle when it comes to cooking fires in the United States. Deep frying turkeys is one of the primary causes of cooking fires (and explosions) on Thanksgiving, according to the National Fire Protection Association. In 2018, the last year a full set of statistics is available, 1,630 cooking fires occurred in homes in the United States on Thanksgiving Day.
Safety experts frown on deep frying turkeys. They maintain that the inherent dangers of the process far outweigh the ability to obtain a particularly juicy bird for family and friends. A common reason for an explosion of this nature is combining ice from a frozen turkey with a vat of hot oil.
When ice hits the hot oil, it instantly turns to steam and expands to 1,700 times its original volume. When that occurs, it can cause the hot oil to bubble over the side of the vat. If oil comes into contact with a flame, an explosion can occur – including involving a propane tank, as is the case with the New Bedford blast.
Incidents like the New Bedford explosion occur primarily because of negligence by the person deep frying turkey or because of some type of design or manufacturing defect associated with a cooker or some other instrumentality being used to deep fry a turkey. If people who live near a person deep frying a turkey end up injured or with damaged property, they may have a claim against the person preparing a bird in this manner. They might also have a claim against a manufacturing company if there is some type of product defect associated with equipment being used in the process.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an explosion caused by someone else, the legal team at The Doan Law Firm is here for you. An initial consultation with a Doan Law Firm explosion accident lawyer can be scheduled by calling (800) 349-000, any time of the day or night.
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