A butane stove caused a small explosion and fire that injured three people at VegFest along the South Side Greenway on Saturday afternoon, according to a Bethlehem Fire Department official.
Heat from the stove caused the butane canister to split along a seam, which in turn caused the butane to explode, said Deputy Fire Chief Robert Novatnack. Three people in the tent near the stove suffered burns to their face and other body parts, Novatnack said.
The tent, which was also damaged, belonged to Jenny’s Kuali, a Malaysian restaurant at 102 E. Fourth St., which was closed for business on Tuesday.
The fire department has not identified the victims, two of whom were minors, Novatnack said. A third person, an adult, was still in the hospital as of Monday, he said.
Fire officials are continuing to investigate the blaze, said Novatnack, who is also the city fire marshal. Novatnack said he is relatively unfamiliar with butane stoves and wants to determine the level of safety they provide in a festival setting.
Jenny’s Kuali did not have a permit to have an open flame at the festival, which the department would have required, Novatnack said. There is no plan to cite the tent operators, however, he said.