Firefighters extinguish blaze at a St Andrews University building

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More than 30 firefighters tackled a well developed fire at a St Andrews University building.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was alerted at 4.58pm on Sunday, February 10 to reports of a fire at the The Biomedical Sciences Building on North Haugh Street, St Andrews

More than 30 firefighters worked to extinguish a large fire involving suspected hazardous materials at the St Andrews University building which is shared by St Andrews’ Schools of Chemistry and Biology.

The four-storey building, built in the late 90s, houses labs conducting medically focused research in organic and synthetic chemistry, virology and microbiology.

Chemistry PHD student, Bryony Hockin tweeted out

“This is devastating to watch. Our lab has been badly affected. A sad day for St Andrews Chemistry indeed. I have three years of PhD work in there.”

Eight fire engines attended the scene including mobilising a height appliance and specialist resources

Approximately 100 staff and post graduate students work in the building. The building was fully evacuated and there were no casualties.

QV understands that the cause of the fire was an experiment with sodium metal which got out of hand. However, this has not been officially confirmed. Sodium metal is highly flammable, ‘burning violently with explosions that may spatter the material’ according to PubChem:

https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/sodium#section=Top

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