Tofu Pan Blast Mystery Leaves Woman Injured, Investigators Baffled

An unusual explosion in a woman’s kitchen involving tofu-cooking pan has investigators and experts baffled in Portland.

Paul Corah, spokesperson for Portland Fire and Rescue, told The Oregonian Tuesday, that firefighters responded to an apartment building shortly after 8:15 p.m. Sunday and found a woman crying outside.

"She said there'd been an explosion and she was upset. She had a slight burn on her left hand, but was otherwise not hurt," said Corah.

He said the 25-year-old woman told investigators she was cooking tofu, and the explosion, which blasted a 4-foot by 6-foot window out of the building, occurred as she was rinsing off the pan.

Investigators in Portland are confused how cleaning a tofu pan could spark a blast that resulted in a substantial damage to a building.

"We're scratching our heads," said Corah. "We're all baffled.

"Everyone from the chief on is puzzled,” Corah continued. “The fire investigator can't figure it out. I've been here 30 years and never heard of such a thing. We're all dumfounded. Investigators are making calls today to see if other investigators have heard of something like this."

The damage caused by the blast is estimated to be $15,000.

The Portland fire department said they have contacted other fire departments to help them unravel the mystery.

Readers on OregonLive’s website have come to there own conclusions what may have happened.

Website user Brain Olson commented: “Most likely: She was cooking the tofu in oil. It was still really hot when she went to rinse the pan. The oil splattered and burned her arm. In a panic she threw the pan, breaking the window. Doubtful flash-boiled steam could generate enough pressure to blow out a window without doing severe damage to the woman, too.”

Maybe the Portland fire department may want to get the city’s residents to solve this mystery.