Humphries Research Center reopens after small fire

The Frederick S. Humphries Science Research Center reopened April 14 at 10 a.m. The Science Research Center was closed on April 10 because of a chemical spill of Lithium aluminum hydride that caused a fire on the fifth floor of the building.

Xui Zhu, a research associate in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science who was injured in the fire, was released from Tallahassee Memorial Hospital April 11.

After the fire, Apex Laboratory Inc. took an air sample from the building that was sent to a lab for analysis April 11.  Andrew Balogh, director of Environmental Health and Safety, said the air quality test results show that there is no potential health risk.

While the building was closed, Florida A&M University’s Office of Academic Affairs issued a statement through the Office of Public Affairs asking that all faculty, staff, student workers and Post-Docs who were housed in the building work from home unless their respective deans had identified a designated space in another building for them to carry out their normal duties. In addition, no classes were to be canceled that were housed in the facility but relocated to an available classroom in another building.

Leola Hubert-Randolph, office manager of the Research Center Office, said she was relocated to the college of pharmacy. Randolph also said it was difficult to say where the other faculty members were stationed because many of them work in various science departments.  

Zhu, who suffered second-degree burns to his hands and flash burns to his face and hair, is in good condition.

Zhu’s supervisor Seth Ablordeppey was unavailable to comment regarding Zhu.