Science Wing Update

News Story: March 26, 2014

*Released by the Fairfield Fire Department: 

At 2:48pm on Wednesday afternoon the Fairfield Fire Department was called to Sacred Heart University to assist in what was reported to be a minor reaction of sulfuric and nitric acids in the Main Administration Building. Fairfield Fire dispatched Engine 3, Ladder 2 and Car 3. Upon arrival Engine 3 assumed command and reported two students in SC 111 Chemistry Lab on the first floor with no complaints of injury who had been working in the lab with a small amount of nitric acid when a foaming reaction occurred. Car 3 called for Engine 4 with the HazMat Trailer and Car 5, along with the Fairfield Fire Department HazMat Team, along with AMR and representatives from DEEP.

At 4:47pm Fairfield HazMat Technicians made entry and found a small amount of 65% Nitric Acid on the floor, counter and sink and two open containers. The Entry Team replaced the tops on the containers and wiped up the product using Chemsorb pads, placing all within the hood system, according to HazMat Operations Officer A/C Schuyler Sherwood. The Entry Team left the building at 5:19pm, and Connecticut Tank Removal was called by SHU officials to remove remaining product and absorbent materials from the lab.

“Unfortunately we needed to secure the first and second floors of the SC Wing while entry was being made to ensure that the atmosphere was not contaminated,” explained Sherwood. Fire Units were expected to clear shortly after 6:00pm pending arrival of the private cleanup contractor, according to Incident Commander A/C George Gomola. “While classes can resume at this time, evening classes that start by 5:00pm needed to be cancelled,” added Paul Healy, Emergency Management Executive Director at Sacred Heart University. “Classes will resume their normal schedule tomorrow.”

UPDATE: As of 8:30pm, this matter has been resolved and the entire SC Wing is now open. All classes will resume as scheduled tomorrow, March 27, 2014.