A small fire erupted inside a biology lab at Northside College Prep High School while students were participating in a class activity. The project involved heating hot chocolate on a single-burner stove under the supervision of an instructor. The gas used during the activity ultimately triggered the fire; however, the sprinkler system quickly extinguished the flames. According to Chicago Fire Department Spokesman Larry Langford the fire reportedly began around 10:30. "The fire was doused immediately," Spokesman Langford said.
School administrators were quick to act during the incident and immediately evacuated the student body, which consisted of roughly 1,000 adolescents. Northside College Prep High School Principal Kelly Mest praised the efforts of staff and students throughout the ordeal to remain calm in spite of the potential trauma.
NCP Update: Classes have resumed as normal. So proud our of faculty,staff, and student's for handling today's events with calm and order.
— Kelly L. Mest (@PrincipalMest) February 19, 2014
Five students were injured as a result of the explosion. Four of these students were taken to Swedish Covenant Hospital for treatment while the fifth student refused treatment. The most severely injured student had noticeable burn damage inflicted on the upper area of the body including the face, hands, and even neck. Two of the students were transported to the hospital in stable condition. One student is reported to have been in good condition.
— Caitlin Swieca (@CaitlinSwieca) February 19, 2014
Once it was determined that there were no lingering dangers for the students, classes were permitted to resume. Recent reports claim that an investigation is presently underway involving the "routine cooking instruction" that resulted in a classroom fire.
Image Via Wikimedia Commons