According to officials, more than 20 students were evacuated this weekend at Brigham Young University when a student attempted to produce rocket fuel on a stove in a student housing unit, which “exploded into a fireball,” according to officials.
The disastrous scientific experiment occurred on Sunday afternoon at the University of Utah in Provo, Utah. According to the BYU Police Department, the fire alarm went off in the housing unit at 4:30 p.m., and firefighters promptly extinguished the flames.
An investigation found that a 22-year-old student used a stove to make “homemade rocket fuel” when it exploded.
“The flames from the explosion had engulfed the walls and ceiling around the stove, and the intense heat tripped the fire sprinkler system,” the department said.
The fireball caused considerable damage to the building, and 22 students living near the unit were transferred so that the property could be cleaned and restored. There were no reported injuries.
“It is clear that this situation could have been much worse, and we are grateful that no one was injured. We urge students to be aware of circumstances around them and consider how their actions have the potential to affect not just themselves, but others as well,” the department said.
“Please keep your experiments in the lab and supervised by trained professionals.”
According to BYU Police Lt. Jeff Long, two persons were in the apartment where the fire started, one of whom has been interrogated by police. The resident is not facing charges, but Long said the matter would be referred to a prosecutor when the investigation is completed to evaluate whether charges will be filed.