A Pepper Was So Hot It Forced An Entire Building To Evacuate

By Mike Pomranz |
microwve, peppers

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Some people like food so spicy it makes their eyes water – and they think they’re pretty hardcore. That’s nothing. Earlier this week, someone in Rochester, New York, cooked up a pepper so hot, it made everyone in their entire high-rise’s eyes water – forcing the entire building to evacuate in the process. No word on how it tasted.

At 10:20am on Monday morning, HAZMAT crews were called to a 150-apartment building after residents complained of an unknown odor that was making people cough and causing breathing trouble. After searching the complex, Rochester firefighters determined the source of the irritant was a resident who had microwaved a hot pepper. The theory is that the microwave cooking process caused the chemical capsaicin to become airborne, essentially creating the makeshift equivalent of pepper spray.

“It seems whatever kind of pepper they were using, once it's aerosolized, if you've ever gotten pepper in your eyes, you know how hard it can be on your system,” Lt. Cieslinski said according to WHAM news. “I do not know what kind of pepper it was, but clearly spicy enough to affect the people in the hallway.” So, like, probably not a bell.


Reportedly, no one required medical attention, and everyone was allowed back in the building just a couple hours later. However, I can only assume that someone’s lunch – or YouTube video – was completely ruined.

Perhaps the pepper person should have known better. A quick Google search revealed a 2014 Huffington Post article entitled, “13 Things You Should Never Put in the Microwave.” As you may have guessed, “hot peppers” were on the list. “Nothing bad will happen to the peppers — except that they’ll maybe catch on fire,” the article states, “but when you open the microwave door after nuking hot peppers the chemical released from them will sting your eyes and burn your throat.” I guess people in Rochester aren’t that keen on reading HuffPo before they do their microwaving.


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