A Tioga County chef has being transferered to a Pennsylvania burn center for treatment of multiple burns suffered in a kitchen fire Sunday at a restaurant that had opened for business just several days earlier. The blaze, believed to have been caused by a punctured aerosol can catching fire, happened at the new Sisters Family Restaurant in the Village of Waverly, located southeast of Elmira. It was immediately closed for repairs, but is scheduled to open this Wednesday.
According to fire officials, Jamie Miccio was found outside the restaurant on the ground with first-degree burns to her face, second-degree burns to her arms, legs and stomach. After being treated at the scene and taken to the Robert Packer Hospital in nearby Sayre, Pennsylvania, she was transferred to the Lehigh Valley Burn Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Sisters Julie Trudeau and Tammy Blow opened the restaurant on July 9 in a former servicemen's club. They told local media that Miccio was instrumental in helping create the facility. She is married and the mother of two.
Fire investigators pieced together the chain of events. They said Miccio was alone when she opened up the restaurant on Sunday and turned on the grill to pre-heat it. While her back was turned, an aerosol can near the grill exploded and flames hit Miccio. The event was ruled accidental.
“They told me she turned around and shielded herself with her arms,” Blow told the Press & Sun-Bulletin. “She didn’t know what happened but she noticed the fire suppression didn’t come on, so before she went outside, she flipped the switch."
Trudeau added, "We’ve all worked at different restaurants together for a long time. She helped us decorate and she also baked the bread. She was really upset about our having to be closed, but she cared more about the business than she did herself."
The sisters said they will hold an official grad opening ceremony when their friend and colleague is released from the hospital. The restaurants is located at 2 North Chemung Street. Phone: 607-565-2010.