Hot chocolate 'explosion' injures 5 at Northside College Prep on city's Northwest Side

Students evacuated during a classroom cooking demonstration at Northside College Prep.
February 19, 2014 5:52:12 PM PST
Five students were burned as they made hot chocolate in a cooking class at Northside College Prep High School on the city's Northwest Side, police said.

PHOTOS: Hot chocolate 'explosion' evacuates Northside Prep

The most seriously injured suffered received burns to her face. She, and the others, are all expected to be OK. Four were taken to the hospital, and one student declined treatment, officials said. A spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department said the students were burned by butane from the burners, not hot chocolate.

"There was a small cooking class going on, and it was powered by a butane fuel source, a small butane fuel source," said Chicago Fire Department Deputy Dist. Chief Patrick Brennan.

The Chicago Fire Department and several ambulances were called to the school at 5501 North Kedzie around 11 a.m. Wednesday Sprinklers sprayed water and students were sent outside until Chicago firefighters gave the all clear.

"We heard this noise, looked over and saw people running out of the room and screaming," Emma Johnson- Geis, student, said.

"She said it was loud enough you could hear it in the next room so it was pretty big," Jennifer Burke, Northside College Prep student, said.

The original call was that of a chemical explosion within the school's chem lab.


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