Highland Park High School Chemistry Experiment Leaves Three Burned

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Wednesday around 2:45 p.m., Chalicia Jones received a phone call from her daughter in the Highland Park High School nurse's office. She told Jones that a fire from a chemistry experiment burned her and two other students.

"I think it's ridiculous. Three kids getting burned, no. Accidents happen, but that's a little too much for me," said Jones.

Topeka Public School District officials confirm an accident occurred during a chemistry class science experiment. Jones' daughter, Shay, told her the students were building rockets, when a liquid spilled on the floor and caught fire.

One student even captured part of the incident on camera.

"The teacher is standing in the middle (of the classroom), the desks are not even two feet away, and there is a big fire flame. It's almost burning the desks. Kids are running out the door to the back of the classroom," said Jones as she explained the video played.

Shay's shoes caught on fire, spreading to her ankle and leaving first-degree burns on her right leg.

"We had to take her to Express Care as soon as it happened after school. Then I took her to a follow up appointment this morning to make sure it's not going to blister, boil or bleed," said Jones.

USD 501 Communications Director Ron Harbaugh said district policy is to notify parents of any incidents like this.

"If a parent has concern, they would certainly talk to the principal of the school to see what the situation is, and how that can be handled when it comes to that," said Harbaugh.

Harbaugh said this particular experiment has been done before and that the two other burned students were back in school today.

Jones says her daughter will be going back to school tomorrow, with safety a top concern.

"I've just got to get with my daughter, see how she takes it day by day," said Jones.

Jones said there was no ambulance called after the incident, and has not received a follow up call from the school.