LINCOLN PARK — A 16-year-old student suffered burns on her face and four others were hospitalized after a fire broke out in a Lincoln Park High School chemistry lab Monday morning, authorities said.
The Chicago Fire Department responded to the blaze about 11:55 a.m. at the school at 2001 N. Orchard St.
The fire started after a chemical-filled glass container that had been set aflame broke, and the contents spilled on a table while still on fire, Assistant Deputy Fire Commissioner Mark Nielsen said.
A student, who was wearing eye protection, suffered a burn to her forehead before the teacher was able to put out the flames with a handheld extinguisher, Nielsen said.
The 16-year-old sustained second-degree burns on her face and her abdomen and was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said. Four others had some redness on their skin from very minor burns and were taken to Illinois Masonic, Langford said.
Nielsen said the class was experimenting with methanol, which was in the container that started the fire.
"Nothing suspicious at all, the container simply broke," he said.
Dominic Ledezma, a senior at the high school who was in a classroom on the floor above where the fire started, said alarms sounded in the building.
"At first my teacher thought it was planned" as a fire drill and not a real fire, Ledezma said. "She said, 'Stay in your seats,' but we could smell the fire."
The building was eventually evacuated.
Chicago Public Schools officials did not immediately comment.