West Bend Qdoba gas explosion during hood vent cleaning

There were no injuries when an explosion occurred inside Qdoba on Paradise Drive in West Bend early Thursday, Jan. 26 as contractors were cleaning the hood vents over the stove.

Fire officials said the contractors did not shut off the gas to the range, only blowing out the pilot lights for the unit. They put plastic sheeting over the oven to catch any debris from cleaning the ductwork. This caused gas to build up inside the contained area. 

A spark came from somewhere and ignited the natural gas that was in the flammable range. This activated the sprinkler system.

Firefighters responded shortly before 3 a.m. for the water flow alarm. The fire was controlled by the sprinklers before firefighters arrived.

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West Bend fire officials advised everyone to turn off the gas to any appliances where maintenance is being performed, noting that "the outcome could have been far worse had there been more natural gas in a wider area around the stove."