Flaming Dessert Disaster

A dinner turned to tragedy after a woman was accidentally burned from a flaming dessert gone out of control. INSIDE EDITION has the story.

It was supposed to be an elegant ending to an evening out. But when a waiter at the Ozona Blue restaurant near Tampa prepared the bananas foster tableside, something went terribly wrong: a woman was suddenly engulfed in flames!

When the bottle of rum used to prepare the dish caught fire, the flaming alcohol sprayed onto the young woman. In the 9-1-1 phone call, you can hear the screams of horrified customers.

"We had a bananas foster cart blow up and a lady got burned!" one frantic caller said.

The victim, a 25-year-old teacher, was airlifted to the hospital with first, second, and third degree burns.

So how could a popular dessert prepared in restaurants across the country become a lethal weapon?

Bananas foster is made by pouring rum onto a hot pan of sautéed bananas. Nino Selimaj, owner of Nino's restaurant in Manhattan, has been flambéing desserts for three decades without a single mishap.

"If something happens, we do have a fire extinguisher right here," Selimaj said.

New York's Nassau County fire marshals showed INSIDE EDITION just how dangerous such desserts can be. In just ninety seconds, our mannequin was burned to a crisp.

Generally, 80 proof alcohol is recommended for flambéing. Anything over 120 proof is considered extremely flammable. The rum used at Ozona Blue was reportedly 150 proof.

They may be delicious, but flaming desserts can truly be dangerous!