Police to BYU students: Don't make rocket fuel in your dorm

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PROVO — BYU police are reminding students not to make rocket fuel at student housing.

The unusual warning was issued after emergency crews responded to a fire alarm at Heritage Halls at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

"Upon arrival they found the fire sprinklers had been activated and were flooding the main floor," according to a statement from BYU police.

As emergency crews further investigated the situation, they learned that a resident had been making "homemade rocket fuel on the stove when the volatile mixture suddenly exploded into a fireball," police said.

BYU Police Lt. Jeff Long said the 22-year-old man, a student at the university, was making approximately five pounds of rocket fuel with ingredients that were legally purchased.

"What makes it illegal is when you put it all together," he said.

What the man intended to do with the rocket fuel was part of the on-going investigation, Long said. As of Monday the man had not been arrested or charged.

Flames engulfed the walls and ceiling around the stove after the explosion and "the intense heat tripped the fire sprinkler system," according to the statement.

The fire was mostly out when crews arrived. No one was injured. However, 22 students will be displaced for two weeks due to flooding issues, Long said.

"Please keep your experiments in the lab and supervised by trained professionals," police reminded students.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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