Fridge door blows off during explosion, breaks window at USF Tam - WFLA News Channel 8

Fridge door blows off during explosion, breaks window at USF Tampa lab

Posted: Updated:
Hazmat crews responded to reports of an explosion at a USF lab Hazmat crews responded to reports of an explosion at a USF lab
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

A refrigerator door is to blame for an early-morning explosion call at the University of South Florida Tampa. Tampa Fire Rescue says the door blew off the fridge in a USF research lab and shattered a window. But, investigators do not believe chemicals caused the explosion.

A line of fire trucks filed into the USF research park at around 2:45 Wednesday morning. Shortly before, a fire alarm had gone off inside a laboratory at the Research and Innovation building. At the same time, a campus police officer reported hearing an explosion.

When crews came on scene, they found a double paned window had shattered. Officials say the door blew off, flew about 15 feet, and shattered the window.

"I have not seen a refrigerator door blow up but stranger things have happened," Tampa Fire Rescue spokesman Jason Penny said.

Scientists from the lab came to help investigators. And while the refrigerator stored chemicals, officials do not believe they were to blame for the explosion.

"From what they're telling us, there's no harmful chemicals. In fact, inside the refrigerator, they said it wasn't even any sort of harmful chemicals inside that refrigerator," Penny said. "The Chief Science Officer who showed up thinks that it was the faulty refrigerator."

Just in case, officials vented the room after smelling a chemical odor.

"There was no harmful chemical breakage or spillage inside there," Penny said. "There was a faint odor that you could smell that smelled like chemicals."

As daylight approached, a clear view of the damage was visible. The glass was shattered and a white refrigerator door was near the window. Investigators from the State Fire Marshal's office continued their work, but for now officials do believe the refrigerator was to blame.

There were no injuries in the incident, which caused minor damage to the lab.

The laboratory was leased to a company called Intezyne which specializes in cancer research.

"We are relieved no one was hurt, and we would like to thank the Tampa Fire Rescue and the USF Police Department for their rapid assistance. We are very impressed with the speed at which they assessed the situation and got everything under control," said an Intezyne spokesperson.

The lab is closed for repairs and cleanup and is expected to reopen Friday.

Copyright WFLA 2014. All rights reserved.


  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:48:06 GMT
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
  • Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:03:34 GMT
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
  • Abercrombie dropping logo to boost brand

    Abercrombie dropping logo to boost brand

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:15 AM EDT2014-08-29 11:15:46 GMT
    The Abercrombie & Fitch logo has lost the power it once wielded, so the struggling teen retailer plans to strip off the once-prized logo from its clothing. Shares tumbled Thursday after it reported weak sales as more teens shop elsewhere. 
    The Abercrombie & Fitch logo has lost the power it once wielded, so the struggling teen retailer plans to strip off the once-prized logo from its clothing. Shares tumbled Thursday after it reported weak sales as more teens shop elsewhere. 
  • NewsMore>>

  • Two men injured in Gandy Bridge boat crash

    Two men injured in Gandy Bridge boat crash

    Saturday, August 30 2014 11:36 PM EDT2014-08-31 03:36:15 GMT
    Two men were injured in a single boat crash at the Gandy Bridge in Pinellas County Saturday. A 21-foot white Hydra-Sport boat collided with the Gandy Bridge, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Officer Baryl Martin said in a news release. ...
    Two men were injured in a single boat crash at the Gandy Bridge in Pinellas County Saturday. A 21-foot white Hydra-Sport boat collided with the Gandy Bridge, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Officer Baryl Martin said in a news release. ...
  • Down power line stalls Gulf Blvd. traffic

    Down power line stalls Gulf Blvd. traffic

    Saturday, August 30 2014 8:49 PM EDT2014-08-31 00:49:01 GMT
    Severe weather in Redington Beach has forced the shutdown of a portion of Gulf Blvd.Pinellas County authorities closed northbound and southbound Gulf Blvd. from 161st Ave. to 164th Ave. due to down power lines.Sheriffs's officials are asking motorists to avoid the area.
    Severe weather in Redington Beach has forced the shutdown of a portion of Gulf Blvd.Pinellas County authorities closed northbound and southbound Gulf Blvd. from 161st Ave. to 164th Ave. due to down power lines.Sheriffs's officials are asking motorists to avoid the area.
  • Buccaneers get to 53-man roster limit

    Buccaneers get to 53-man roster limit

    Saturday, August 30 2014 8:08 PM EDT2014-08-31 00:08:37 GMT
    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 53-man roster now is in place. On Saturday, the team waived six players and released two others to reach the NFL player limit. The Bucs made the following roster moves today, according to team officials. ...
    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 53-man roster now is in place. On Saturday, the team waived six players and released two others to reach the NFL player limit. The Bucs made the following roster moves today, according to team officials. ...
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.