DOE News Release
Date: June 12, 2007
Time: 4:45 p.m.


Small laboratory fire extinguished at the Idaho National Laboratory – recovery is under way

The INL Fire Department extinguished a fire inside a laboratory fume hood at the U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory. The incident occurred at the INL Site's Reactor Technology Complex (RTC).

  • The laboratory technician sustained minor injuries while transferring red phosphorus to a stainless steel container. Red phosphorus is a material commonly used to make roadside flares. The technician was treated and released from the Central Facilities Area (CFA) Medical Facility.
  • 40 people in the vicinity of the facility were evaluated as a precaution. All potentially impacted workers in the area have been evaluated. Seven workers have shown minor symptoms such as dry throat, coughing and slight eye irritation. All but two have been evaluated and released. Two are being evaluated further for any respiratory problems.
  • The fire is out, and the fire department is monitoring the area. A team is developing a re-entry plan for the facility. Workers in all but 6 buildings near the affected laboratory have returned to work. Hazardous materials teams will check the building before any workers are allowed back into the affected laboratory.
  • The Advanced Test Reactor is not involved in this event.

INL site Communications is continuing to gather more details about the incident. Further details will be provided to the media as soon as they can be confirmed. INL emergency organizations have responded to the incident. State, county and tribal officials have been notified.

INL's emergency Joint Information Center at the Engineering Research Office Building, 2525 Fremont Ave., Idaho Falls, is being activated to answer questions. Media should call (208) 526-9206, not your regular INL contacts. Employees and the public can call (208) 526-5042.


Media Information: (208) 526-9206
Public Information: (208) 526-5042

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