Princeton, NJ – Fire at Princeton University chemistry lab contained to storage room by sprinkler system

Firefighters were called to campus early Friday morning to extinguish a fire that broke out in a third-floor storage room in the Frick Chemistry Laboratory. The building’s sprinkler system was activated and contained the flames to the storage room, where a firefighter was able to put them out with a fire extinguisher.

The cause was traced to a light fixture in the supply room that failed and ignited boxes of supplies on a storage rack, which held vials, pipes, and other chemical laboratory supplies but no hazardous materials, according to Assistant Vice President for Communications Dan Day.

A graduate student noticed the fire and called the Department of Public Safety at 1:39 a.m. Firefighters arrived on campus from the town of Princeton, Princeton Junction, the Princeton Plasma Plasma Physics Laboratory, Plainsboro, and Rocky Hill, according to a University statement.The building was briefly closed while firefighters were on scene but has now reopened.

According to Day, there is “a lingering odor in the area of the storage room” that cleanup crews are taking care of.

Water from the sprinkler system dripped from the third to the second floor, getting some papers and computers wet, but a University Facilities crew mopped up the water early in the morning. There was no significant structural or equipment damage in the building from the fire or from smoke, Day said.

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