UW Student Burned in Lab Accident

February 12, 2010

A University of Wisconsin graduate student in physiology suffered burns to his right hand after a fire in the laboratory where he was conducting an experiment.

City of Madison firefighters were dispatched to the Medical Sciences Center, 1215 Linden Drive on the UW campus at 11:17 p.m. yesterday.

Engine Company 4 arrived to find smoke and haze from a dry chemical extinguisher. The student had extinguished the fire prior to their arrival.

Investigators say the fire started when chemicals being used by the student dripped onto a chair and ignited the upholstery.

His hand was injured when he pushed the burning chair down the hallway to the stair well. He drove himself to the UW Hospital where he was treated and released.

The City of Madison Fire Department reminds residents:
•Be familiar with the locations of fire extinguishers in your home or workplace.
•Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.
•To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:
- Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle
pointing away from you, and release the locking
mechanism.
- Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

Contact:
  • Lori Wirth, 608-266-5947