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October 20, 1999

Fire breaks out in Sinsheimer chemistry lab

By Jim Burns

A fire that broke out in a UCSC science building late Wednesday afternoon (October 20) injured one student and caused minor damage to a chemistry laboratory. The fire was reported at 5:18 p.m. on the first floor of Sinsheimer Laboratories; it was extinguished in approximately 15 minutes.

Juan Noveron, a graduate student working in the laboratory of Pradip Mascharak, a professor of chemistry, was taken by ambulance to Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz for treatment of burns. He was listed in stable condition Wednesday night.

The "flash" fire started after a small container of what is believed to be the solvent cyclohexane was accidentally overturned in an area where Noveron and a fellow graduate student were working. The fire was contained in one end of Mascharak's lab and caused no structural damage to the room, reported UCSC Fire Captain Don Brookes.

In addition to a crew from UCSC's Fire Department, engines from the city of Santa Cruz and a hazardous materials truck from the Scotts Valley Fire Department responded to the fire call. Staff from the campus Office of Environmental Health & Safety also responded.

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