Chemical Fire Destroys Gear in Maryland Lab

January 27, 2010

The operator of a Hagerstown, Maryland laboratory where an overnight fire destroyed thousands of dollars worth of equipment says safety policies and procedures prevented worse damage.

Mark Butt, president of Tox Path Specialists LLC at Hagerstown Community College, said Monday the fire may stemmed from a malfunction in an incubator where tissue samples stained with an alcohol solution are routinely left to dry overnight

Butt says a vent on the device may have been partially blocked, causing combustion of the vapors that had accumlated under a hood.

He estimated the damage at just over $2,000; the Maryland State Fire Marshal put it at $7,500.

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