Small Explosion Closes French Family Science Center

No injuries reported

Update: August 28, 2013 (8:30 a.m.): Water restoration crews arrived on site at about 1:15 a.m. Wednesday and began the drying process. By 8 a.m. most of the major drying had been completed.

The building is now open for normal operations. Certain labs and rooms may need to be closed for additional work in the coming days. Crews will be coordinating with building occupants to continue additional restoration work as needed to limit disruption.

The sprinkler system was activated following a small fire that ignited inside a mini-refrigerator in a lab on the second floor. Damage from the fire was limited to the mini-refrigerator. 

Updated: August 27, 2013 (10:45 p.m.): Duke and Durham officials responded to a report of a small explosion in a laboratory in the French Family Science Center shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday.

The explosion, which appears to have occurred in a lab on the second floor of the building, activated the fire alarm and the building sprinkler system. Initial reports indicated that the damage from the explosion appears to be minimal, but water damage from the sprinkler system may be more widespread.

Duke University Police and the Durham County Fire Department responded to the scene and have restricted access to the building as a safety precaution while the damage is being assessed. The cause of the explosion has not yet been determined. No injuries were reported.

This page will be updated as more information becomes available.