Chemical fire in WWU chemistry building caused by spill

BELLINGHAM — A fire in a chemistry lab at Western Washington University was apparently caused by an accidental chemical spill.

Bellingham Fire Marshal Jason Napier told The Bellingham Herald a student was getting ready to dispose of a mix of chemicals and spilled the liquid on the floor Tuesday evening.

Napier says vapors from the chemicals, which included acetone and hexane, found an ignition source in the lab and caused a flash-fire. The liquid continued to burn until sprinklers went off.

Napier says a few lab supplies were burned. No one was injured when the fire took off. Bellevue fire officials say there were six students and a professor in the third-floor lab at the time.

Some firefighters were sent to the hospital for evaluation after they inhaled an unknown gas when they entered the building.

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