A RESTAURANT worker has died after catching fire while cleaning a crowded restaurant in Sydney.

Prajjwol "PJ" Sama Shrestha, 24, was cleaning the restaurant floor at On Sunset Lebanese restaurant in the western district of Parramatta last month when a spark ignited from the cleaning product he was using.


According to witnesses, Shrestha caught fire and sustained critical burns in the restaurant packed with dozens of customers.

Shrestha had taken cocktail orders moments before he was set ablaze, a worker who was at the restaurant told the Daily Telegraph.

Stunned onlookers tried to hold the man's body under sprinklers to cool him down, but that was not enough to save him.

Police officers and New South Wales ambulance crews arrived at the scene around 9.50pm.

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Shrestha was treated and placed into an induced coma in the establishment, before he was taken to Concord Hospital.

The worker suffered severe burns to 30 per cent of his body including both arms, face and chest and was left in a coma.

Shrestha died two weeks later.

Emergency services said the cleaning agent that he was using to clean the floor ignited when an alleged faulty dishwasher was turned on.

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"A flammable liquid was laid down to clean the bar and run the length of the bar so the fire explosion was around about the length of the bar, which was a significant fire," Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent Andrew Shurety said.

New South Wales Ambulance Inspector Brian Parsell added: "This is a reminder to the public of the dangers present when working with commercial and domestic gases, we ask that you please take care around open flames and flammable liquids at all times."

The Coroner and SafeWork New South Wales are investigating the incident. The fire is not being treated as suspicious.

The On Sunset Lebanese restaurant remained closed for a few days.

The young man hailed from Balkot, Nepal and was living in Sydney where he was an Software Engineer and Web Developer intern at the Studio after joining the company in April 2021.

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He had previously studied at the Academy of Information Technology – a specialist higher education institution and vocational education and training provider.

Shrestha also ran a blog titled "PJBlogger".


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