Two workers suffered serious burn injuries when a propane-powered deep fryer exploded in the kitchen of a popular southern Maine restaurant Oct. 11.
The accident occurred just before 11 a.m. in the kitchen of Rick’s All Seasons Restaurant in York, Maine, when the fryolator suddenly burst into “a ball of fire,” according to Seacoast Online.
A sprinkler system quickly put out the fire, but the explosion and hot oil left employees BreeAnne McDowell and Marianne Porter with serious burn injuries.
According to Seacoast Online and the Bangor Daily News, York Village Fire Department Chief Chris Balentine said one of the employees was standing next to the deep fryer and the other was standing nearby when the appliance exploded. He described the burn injuries as “non life-threatening but serious.” The women were taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland for treatment.
The owner of the restaurant set up two GoFundMe fundraisers for the employees under the name “Rick’s Chicks.” According to the fundraiser, both women are “beloved member[s] of our Rick’s team.”
The GoFundMe page for Ms. McDowell says that she “has substantial burns covering a large portion of her body.”
“She has a long recovery ahead of her and we’d like her to have everything she needs to be able to focus on her full recovery.”
The fundraiser for Ms. Porter notes she “experienced substantial burn injuries to her face and hands.”
“As a mother of two, we would like her to be comfortable taking her time to heal,” the page says.
Chief Balentine told Seacoast Online that propane gas may have built up in the line connected to the fryer that “exploded with an unknown ignition source.” The accident remains under investigation.
The state fire marshal’s office is also investigating because the accident resulted in a workplace injury.