RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- Reno Fire Officials are calling Wednesday’s flash fire that hurt 13 at the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum an accident.
Officials said the flash fire was an oversight by a museum employee who did not follow the correct procedures in creating a routine tornado demonstration. “And there was a cotton ball that should have doused with methyl alcohol and placed into a glass container, that step was missed, so in an effort to get the cotton ball to ignite, the presenter tried to pour some methyl alcohol into the vessel, which actually flashed,” said Reno Fire Chief Michael Hernandez.
Hernandez said the employee who caused the quick flash fire at the museum Wednesday afternoon made a mistake. “This is a fire that we're classifying as an accident, unintentional accident."
Jackie Rider happened to be filming the demonstration when it went horribly wrong. “I remember seeing the lady who was doing the experiment run towards us, screaming she was sorry and I have no idea where she went after that."
Rider’s 6-and-4-year-old daughters Hayden and River were treated for second-degree burns on their legs, arms, and faces. “I remember her picking her up and running and I didn't know where she went until after I had the rest of the six children out of the seven that we had, I had them all lined up and we started seeing who had burns where."
Rider's niece and nephew were also among the victims burned in the accident. And all 13 people injured have been released from the hospital, but many will likely never forget what happened. “It was horrible. It was the worst thing I’ve ever been through."
Museum officials said the employee that caused the flash fire is currently on administrative leave and all demonstrations are on hold for now. Reno Fire Officials said they will be evaluating the museums procedures and demonstration plans and will make recommendations as necessary.