Experiment accident causes small fire in Williams Hall


Kent Fire Department officers stand outside Williams Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015. An intern accidentally started a small fire during an experiment, but the fire was extinguished quickly with no reported injuries.

McKenzie Jean-Philippe

A small fire broke out in a lab during a group study session in Williams Hall on Wednesday afternoon.

“I was in lab, and the fire alarm went off, and then one of the (teaching assistants) came and said that there was a fire on the third floor,” said Maureen Duffy, a sophomore zoology major.

Kent Fire Department Chief John Tosko said the fire was already out when he and his team arrived on the scene.

“A (intern) was performing an experiment, and as she was pouring one solution into another, something happened to cause the solution to ignite, (causing) a flash fire,” Tosko said.

Tosko said another student came in with a fire extinguisher and put out the fire. The student then left the lab room, pulling the fire alarm on the way out. As a result, everyone in Williams Hall was evacuated.

“There was a quick response by the Kent State Fire Inspection Bureau and the student who put the fire out,” Tosko said. “They really avoided a tragedy. They did a nice job.”

The intern, who is not a Kent State student, walked away with singed hair. No serious injuries were reported.

McKenzie Jean-Philippe is the copy desk chief for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]