HazMats Fire on Campus Closes Williams Street

August 26, 1994 (~estimated)

HazMats Fire on Campus Closes Williams Street

A student mixing chemicals under a flame hood in Princeton University’s Frick Chemistry Labs started a minor fire which garnered some major attention on Tuesday afternoon.

According to police, the student was mixing two chemicals together when he accidentally started a flash fire. The fire was contained by the flame hood and an exhaust stack attached to it, did not spread, and was extinguished.

However, because of the nature and location of the fire, the possibility existed that toxic chemicals had been released and were still present in the building in a gaseous form. S

hortly after 2:30 p.m., Princeton Borough police and firefighters from various units began arriving on the scene. Among those represented were the Princeton Fire Department. The Department of Environmental Protection. the Mercer County Hazardous Materials Team, the Trenton Fire Department (who accompanied the HazMat team,) and the Kingston Fire Department.

Also present were the Princeton Rescue Squad, ambulances and personnel from the University’s Department of Public Safety, and the Montgomery Township Rescue Squad.

Williams Street was cordoned off by Borough police, and the Frick Lab was evacuated, said police. At approximately 4:30 p.m., police said that it had not been necessary to transport anyone to the hospital; in fact, no injuries had been reported at all.

At press time, personnel from the Mercer County Haz-Mats team and the DEP were preparing to enter the building and check for the presence of toxic chemicals.

– Rob Garver

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