PROVO, Utah, Feb. 21, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — The BYU “Rocket Man” case remains under investigation after a residence hall explosion believed to have been caused by a “kitchen chemist” cooking up a stovetop batch of homemade rocket fuel.
“Yesterday’s fire at Heritage Halls is an active case and our officers and Provo Fire are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident,” the Brigham Young University Police Monday statement says.
“The explosion resulted in extensive damage to the building and 22 students living near the room where the explosion occurred have been relocated to allow for clean up and repairs.”
The blast happened at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday, the department’s initial statement says.
“BYU police officers and Provo firefighters responded to a fire alarm at Heritage Halls Building 4,” it says. “Upon arrival they found the fire sprinklers had been activated and were flooding the main floor.
“The subsequent investigation revealed that a resident had been making homemade rocket fuel on the stove when the volatile mixture suddenly exploded into a fireball. The flames from the explosion had engulfed the walls and ceiling around the stove and the intense heat tripped the fire sprinkler system.
“Firefighters quickly secured the scene and were able to put out the remnants from the fire.”
The suspect in the case is said to be a 22-year-old man. Charges have not yet been filed.
No one was injured, the statement says, “but some dorm residents will be displaced due to the flooding caused by this kitchen chemist incident. Please keep your experiments in the lab and supervised by trained professionals.”
Monday’s update thanked those who assisted.
“We want to thank Provo Firefighters, whose quick response helped contain the situation, as well as the many BYU employees who responded to help with clean up efforts and assisting the students who have been displaced,” it says.
“It is clear that this situation could have been much worse and we are grateful that no one was injured. We urge students to be aware of circumstances around them and consider how their actions have the potential to effect not just themselves, but others as well.”