Fire in WSU Tri-Cities Lab Building Causes Evacuations - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Fire in WSU Tri-Cities Lab Building Causes Evacuations

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WSU Tri-Cities explosion causes evacuations. WSU Tri-Cities explosion causes evacuations.

RICHLAND, WA - Several students and staff had to be evacuated Monday at WSU Tri-Cities after a small explosion and fire.

It happened just before two in the afternoon inside the Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Laboratory.

The school says there was a minor fire after a cylinder of compressed gas exploded unexpectedly.

The Director of Marketing and Communications at the school says the building's sprinkler system put the fire out and no one got hurt.

Students were evacuated from the east and west buildings but were allowed back in shortly after.  Firefighters say they're now looking into what happened.

Richland Fire Department Chief Tom Huntington said, "the sprinkler system activated, alarm system activated everybody was able to get out safe. Our initial response and activity were here was to make sure the buildings were clear and everybody was out. Right now what they're working on then is to make sure there is no secondary spills chemical spills things like that associated with the explosion make sure the building is secure then we will start the investigation and figure out what happened."

Staff at the school says the BSEL labs are now canceled until further notice, and students should log on to Blackboard to check if lectures have been moved to a new location.

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