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Moore Twister Distillery engulfed in vodka flash fire not allowed to use open flame

Vodka maker remains hospitalized after second-degree burns in still fire at the Twister Distillery in Moore.
by Brianna Bailey Published: June 17, 2014

The vodka distillery where a man was seriously burned last week in an alcohol flash fire had previously been warned by local fire officials not to use an open flame to make the product.

Twister Distillery in Moore had been distilling its product, called Success Vodka, in a homemade still that was hooked up to an open-flame burner fueled by a propane tank. The still and propane tank were on a wooden pallet atop the tines of a forklift.

The type of still Twister was using at the time of the fire should not have been in operation, said Moore Fire Marshal Jeff Lindsay.

“In fact, the business had been advised they could not utilize open flame for a heat source,” Lindsay said.

Account disputed

Twister Distillery owner Alvin Philipose said Monday that he was unaware of any fire code issues with the still.

“The fire marshal walked through there on Tuesday morning and gave us final approval,” he said. “We would not have opened up if we had not had the go-ahead and all of our inspections were done.”

Twister recently had invested in a larger, custom-made copper still, but the equipment had yet to be hooked up to a gas line and was not operational when a flash fire erupted at the business Friday morning.

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by Brianna Bailey
Business Writer
Brianna Bailey has lived in Idaho, Germany and Southern California, but Oklahoma is her adopted home. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and has worked at several newspapers in Oklahoma and Southern...
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The business had been advised they could not utilize open flame for a heat source.”

Jeff Lindsay,
Moore Fire Marshal

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