Chemistry lab fire causes school-wide evacuation


Wendy Li

by Wendy Li
Students and faculty evacuated the building during C-block yesterday due to a fire in room 454. There were no students and no adults in the room at the time, according to science department head Heather Haines.
According to principal Henry Turner, the classroom’s trash barrel caught on fire, but only left a small burn on a side cabinet.
An A-block chemistry class, said Haines, had been conducting an alchemy unit experiment that produced flammable solid zinc waste.
“There was not a conclusive decision from the fire department that it was definitely from this experiment that we were doing in the chemistry classroom,” she said.
“The teacher followed the appropriate procedures to store everything away, so we are not quite sure what caused the fire,” said Turner.
According to Turner, the fire was detected by the school’s alarm system, and the fire department responded first to the scene.
“The fire department feels sure that it wasn’t something that was intended to occur,” said Turner. “We’re glad no one was hurt, and we’re going to reflect on our procedures.”
Despite the emergency occurring so early in the school year, Turner “was very satisfied with how quickly we were able to evacuate the building.”
Students and teachers are back in room 454 today.