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>>

  • RECALL: Fruit at trader Joe's

    RECALL: Fruit at trader Joe's

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:04 AM EDT2014-07-22 11:04:11 GMT
    The specialty food store Trader Joe's is recalling some types of fresh produce for a possible listeria contamination.
    The specialty food store Trader Joe's is recalling some types of fresh produce for a possible listeria contamination.
  • How to find out if sinkholes are in your neighborhood

    How to find out if sinkholes are in your neighborhood

    Monday, July 21 2014 5:43 PM EDT2014-07-21 21:43:25 GMT
    A 2004 sinkhole in Deltona was four lanes wide. Associated Press file photoA 2004 sinkhole in Deltona was four lanes wide. Associated Press file photo
    Wondering if there are sinkholes in your neighborhood? Or, are you purchasing a home and want to know about sinkhole activity in the area?
    Wondering if there are sinkholes in your neighborhood? Or, are you purchasing a home and want to know about sinkhole activity in the area?
  • Flood insurance refunds issued beginning Oct. 1

    Flood insurance refunds issued beginning Oct. 1

    Monday, July 21 2014 3:59 PM EDT2014-07-21 19:59:42 GMT
    Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) announced that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is continuing to implement the Grimm-Cassidy Substitute Amendment to the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014. Insurance companies will begin to issue refunds for applicable policyholders beginning October 1, 2014.
    Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) announced that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is continuing to implement the Grimm-Cassidy Substitute Amendment to the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014. Insurance companies will begin to issue refunds for applicable policyholders beginning October 1, 2014.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Report card for Tampa Mayor Buckhorn earns him high marks

    Report card for Tampa Mayor Buckhorn earns him high marks

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:44 AM EDT2014-07-22 10:44:38 GMT
    Artist rendering downtown TampaArtist rendering downtown Tampa
    Tampa's Mayor makes the grade with downtown investors.On the campaign trail Mayor Bob Buckhorn promised to turn a city where the sidewalks would roll up when the work whistle would blow, into a place where people could live, work and play."
    Tampa's Mayor makes the grade with downtown investors.On the campaign trail Mayor Bob Buckhorn promised to turn a city where the sidewalks would roll up when the work whistle would blow, into a place where people could live, work and play."
  • Two found dead after welfare check in Hudson

    Two found dead after welfare check in Hudson

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:44 AM EDT2014-07-22 09:44:54 GMT
    Pasco deputies are investigating the circumstances of the death of two people in Hudson found on Clark Street late Monday night.
    Pasco deputies are investigating the circumstances of the death of two people in Hudson found on Clark Street late Monday night.
  • MISSING: Bradenton girl after argument with dad

    MISSING: Bradenton girl after argument with dad

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:26 AM EDT2014-07-22 09:26:37 GMT
    Bianca Unique Agustdottir, 11, had a fight with her dad at the apartment on 53rd Avenue West in Bradenton Monday evening, and that was the last time she was seen. 
    Bianca Unique Agustdottir, 11, had a fight with her dad at the apartment on 53rd Avenue West in Bradenton Monday evening, and that was the last time she was seen. 
  • 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.