BYU students displaced after ‘homemade rocket fuel’ explodes

Feb 21, 2022, 9:39 AM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 4:45 pm

PROVO, Utah — Nearly two dozen students at Brigham Young University have been displaced after five pounds of homemade rocket fuel exploded and tripped the building’s fire sprinkler system.

Crews from the BYU Police Department and Provo Fire & Rescue responded to Heritage Halls building No. 4 Sunday around 4:30 p.m. after the building’s fire alarm went off.

Police said investigators learned a resident in the dorm “had been making homemade rocket fuel on the stove when the volatile mixture suddenly exploded into a fireball.”

The 22-year-old man wasn’t injured but did have some singed arm hair, police said.

“We was in the unit with a roommate,” said Lt. Jeff Long with BYU Police. “He was close to the ignition and was able to get out of the way as the, it was like a fireball that kind of crept up the wall and up onto the ceiling.”

The heat from the explosion triggered the building’s sprinkler system, which flooded dorms on the first floor. Because of the water damage, 22 students have been relocated while repairs take place.

“It’s very serious when you’re talking life and death and criminal charges and the expense of repairs,” Long said. “So not something that we definitely want to laugh off.”

The fire department said the damage is estimated at $75,000.

“It doesn’t look like there was anything nefarious in this,” Long said. “I think it was just a curiosity thing.”

BYU Police reminded on social media that science experiments need to take place in the lab, not in the dorms.

“It is clear that this situation could have been much worse and we are grateful that no one was injured,” BYU Police said in a Facebook post. “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.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(KSL TV)...
Casey Scott, KSL TV

#walkTODAY Wednesday with Casey Scott at Daybreak

Casey Scott was out walking Wednesday morning in Daybreak along with producer Sam from 103.5 FM The Arrow as part of our 30-day #walkTODAY challenge.
10 hours ago
Andrew Adams

Family members remember Utah woman killed in Idaho crash

Family members on Tuesday were remembering a Utah woman killed in a weekend crash that also left her father critically injured. 
1 day ago
Utah Rep. Burgess Owens. (Steve Griffin, Deseret News)...

All 4 Utah House incumbents win GOP primaries

All four members of the U.S. House from Utah defeated Republican primary challengers Tuesday.
1 day ago
U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) leaves the U.S. Capitol on April 25, 2022 in Washington, DC. The Senate r...

Sen. Mike Lee fends off 2 opponents to win Utah GOP primary

Sen. Mike Lee has won Utah’s Republican primary by fending off attacks from two challengers who didn’t vote for former President Donald Trump in 2020.
1 day ago
The suspect of a bank robbery at Brighton Bank in South Salt Lake. (Credit: South Salt Lake Police)...
Michael Houck

South Salt Lake police search for bank robbery suspect

South Salt Lake police are searching for a suspect involved in a bank robbery that happened Tuesday,
1 day ago
Michael Carpenter (left) and Blake Shumway (right) were killed in a plane crash Friday morning in C...
Alex Cabrero

Family members remember, honor two USU plane crash victims

Family members of Michael Carpenter and Blake Shumway — who were killed in a plane crash Friday morning in Cache County — say they never thought a week ago that they would be planning funerals.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
BYU students displaced after ‘homemade rocket fuel’ explodes