Massachusetts Daily Collegian

No injuries reported following fire in Morrill laboratory

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Emergency vehicles responding to the lab fire in Morrill. Patrick Hoff/Daily Collegian

Emergency vehicles responding to the lab fire in Morrill.
Patrick Hoff/Daily Collegian

Officials from the Amherst Fire Department, the University of Massachusetts Police Department, and UMass Environmental Health and Safety responded to a fire in the Morrill Science Center Thursday afternoon.

According to UMass spokesperson Larry Rivais, students and faculty were evacuated from the building as officials responded to a minor fire contained in a commercial laboratory oven in room 114 of Morrill Science Center 4 North around 3:15 p.m. It was extinguished shortly after 3:30.

Assistant Amherst fire chief Lindsay Stromgren reported that there were no injuries. He said the building would remain closed until Environmental Health and Safety deemed that the air quality was safe. The laboratory in which the fire occurred will not reopen today.

North Pleasant Street was closed and PVTA buses were detoured until just after 5 p.m., according to updates posted on the University’s Twitter page.

Stromgren said a laboratory technician attempted to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher, but was unable to completely put it out.

According to Stromgren, the oven was damaged, but there was no damage to the lab. There was significant damage done by the smoke, he said.

A witness on the scene said the room is used for microbiology research.

Anthony Rentsch can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Anthony_Rentsch.

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