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4 burned in flash fire at N.H. hibachi restaurant

Salem firefighters were alerted to an explosion and fire at the Tomo Japanese Steakhouse

By Angelina Berube
The Eagle-Tribune

SALEM, N.H. — Four people sustained minor first-degree burns after a flash fire at Tomo Japanese Steakhouse on Sunday.

The Salem Fire Department received a 911 call at 6 p.m. about an explosion and fire in the restaurant at 368 South Broadway. Firefighters found an overpressurized aerosol can under one of the hibachi cooking stations that is believed to have caused the fire after it exploded, Salem fire Chief Craig Lemire said.

The chief added that the can appeared to be heated from the bottom, which released the top of the can.

Some of the patrons were already outside when crews arrived four minutes after getting the report about the fire. The situation was under control within three minutes, Battalion Chief Shane Murphy said in a statement.

The fire at the hibachi station had been extinguished by the time firefighters entered the building.

Four people were evaluated for first-degree burns on-site.

Lemire said Salem Fire did not transport anyone to a hospital following the incident.

“We will be investigating further to determine how to prevent it from happening again,” Lemire said.

The restaurant remained open with the area where the fire occurred closed to patrons.

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