Look no farther than “homemade” and “rocket fuel” for a sure-fire prescription for disaster. Unfortunately, one student at Brigham Young University in Utah thought building his own DIY rocket fuel would be a good idea, and it ended up as you might guess – a massive explosion, sprinklers flooding the entire dorm, and 22 disgruntled classmates forced to leave for the time being.
After a fire alarm was heard inside Heritage Halls’ student dorms on Sunday afternoon, police and fire services were on the scene. The structure was filled with water upon inspection, and the remnants of a large fire were still burning. The fire brigade arrived immediately to put out the fire and secure the area.
A student had chosen to try his hand at making homemade rocket fuel on the stovetop, it was revealed. As expected, rocket fuel is extremely volatile and exploded into a huge explosion while on the burner, swiftly engulfing the kitchen and triggering the sprinkler system to put out the fire, according to a Facebook post by the BYU police department.
Because of the sprinkler, the kitchen communal space – which, for some reason, has a toilet on display smack in the middle – was completely inundated. While you might think the amount of rocket fuel for a home experiment would be little, it turned out to be quite a bit. According to the Washington Post, BYU Police Lt. Jeff Long remarked, “It wasn’t a modest amount – it was a potful.”
“It had the potential to be disastrous.” It’s unknown what kind of propellant the student was working on, but based on the blaze, it was probably something best left in a controlled laboratory.
“Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the water caused by the kitchen chemical mishap will force several dorm occupants to relocate.” The BYU police department added in their post, “Please keep your research in the lab and under the supervision of competent professionals.”
Residents have relocated until the debris is cleaned up, and the “rocket man” in question could now face criminal charges and a fine of at least $100,000 (£73,800) for damages. “Clearly, things could have turned out far worse, and we are grateful that no one was hurt.” “We encourage students to be aware of their surroundings and consider how their actions may affect not only themselves, but others as well,” the department noted in a Monday post.