Debbie Knight

Photo of the Week

In photo log on November 13, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Yes, this is a picture of a lab shelving unit.

Boring?

Perhaps.

I certainly thought so, too, until a soon-to-retire professor told me the story behind it.

Apparently the black soot on the side of the shelving unit was the result of a lab fire from years ago.

Someone had stored ether (a highly flammable substance) in a refrigerator. Enough ether evaporated to fill the refrigerator compartment so when the compressor kicked on early one morning: ka-boom!

The refrigerator door blew off.

Flames shot everywhere.

The fire department was called.

And there was quite a bit of damage to the lab.

Luckily, it was early enough in the day that no one was working in the lab, thus no injuries.

The professor’s story certainly makes this boring old shelving unit just a little more interesting. At least to me.

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