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Man Burned In Electrical Fire At FSU Mag Lab; Cause Being Investigated

Jessica Palombo

An electrical fire on Thursday morning at FSU’s High Magnetic Laboratory injured one man, who was airlifted to Shands in Gainesville with serious burns. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

Fire fighters arrived at the Mag Lab just after 9:30 a.m. to find smoke filling one of the magnetic research buildings. Mike Bellamy with the Tallahassee Fire Department says, the fire started on a high-voltage electrical panel.  

“Electrical fire’s got its own taste, so when we got here, I could really smell it very strong," he said. "So what we’re trying to do is use fans to evacuate the smoke.”

The burn victim was an FSU maintenance worker who was near the panel when it caught fire. He’s being treated for second- and third-degree burns to his face and arms. Fire fighters also rescued some lab rats. And people working in adjacent buildings were evacuated for several hours.

The extent of damage caused by the fire is not yet known.