French fry-cook­ing blast closes street

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - MATTHEW VAN DONGEN mvan­don­gen@thes­pec.com 905-526-3241 | @Mat­tatthes­pec

A freak french fry-cook­ing ac­ci­dent blew out the win­dow of an eighth-storey apart­ment on Hunter Street Sun­day night.

No one was in­jured in the blast, which sprayed glass over the street and left win­dow frames dan­gling above dozens of shocked ten­ants who were evac­u­ated from 121 Hunter St.

Hamil­ton po­lice were called to probe the ex­plo­sion, but St. Sgt. Frank Mis­cione said in­ves­ti­ga­tors found “no ev­i­dence of crim­i­nal­ity what­so­ever.”

“They found fries, cook­ing pots and not much else,” he said.

Mis­cione said the shell-shocked tenant told po­lice he was pre­par­ing to cook french fries in hot oil but pan­icked when the liq­uid be­gan to boil and smoke.

The would-be cook threw a pot of wa­ter atop the oil “which caused a gi­ant blast,” ac­cord­ing to Mis­cione, but didn’t re­sult in a fire.

Oil boils at a much higher tem­per­a­ture than wa­ter.

Dump­ing wa­ter atop boil­ing oil can cause an in­stan­ta­neous — and ex­plo­sive — change of state and pres­sure.

Res­i­dents were amazed at the size of the blast. The kitchen ex­plo­sion at the back of the unit blew out the win­dows of the liv­ing room and bed­room fac­ing Hunter Street.

“I heard this boom and the vi­bra­tion was crazy and then glass came shoot­ing out. It was hit­ting my win­dow,” said Kris­ten Geoghe­gan, who lives three floors be­low the ac­ci­dent.

“I started run­ning up the stairs to see if ev­ery­one was OK.”

Res­i­dents were al­lowed back in the build­ing less than an hour af­ter fire­fight­ers ar­rived.

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