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Fire erupts during chemistry experiment at Cal State Long Beach, injuring professor

Firefighters were called to Cal State Long Beach after a fire broke out in a classroom.
(Long Beach Fire Department)

A fire broke out during a chemistry experiment Tuesday in a Cal State Long Beach classroom, leaving a professor injured, officials said.

Firefighters were called to the campus about 1:20 p.m., when students working with lithium hydroxide and lithium metal experienced a chemical reaction that sparked a blaze, according to the Long Beach Police Department.

They extinguished the fire about a half-hour later. A faculty member was taken to a hospital for treatment, said Terri M. Carbaugh, a spokeswoman for the university.

“Campus officials are in contact with the professor and his family, and we are wishing him well,” she said via email. She did not have details on his injuries.

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Authorities evacuated the Engineering and Computer Science Building and warned students to avoid the area as hazardous materials specialists assessed the situation.

The area was cleared shortly after 6 p.m. Classes will resume Wednesday.

alene.tchekmedyian@latimes.com

Twitter: @AleneTchek


UPDATES:

9:45 p.m.: This article was updated to reflect the person injured was a professor.

This article was originally published at 4:15 p.m.


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