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150 firefighters called to battle UCLA lab blaze

October 24, 2011 |  1:24 pm

This post has been corrected. See note at bottom for details.

A fire in a laboratory at the UCLA Center for Health Sciences was extinguished Monday after a 50-minute battle by nearly 150 firefighters, fire officials said.

The fire was located on the fifth floor of the center's building, in a lab with hazardous materials. No injuries were reported. Although the fire has been doused, eastbound traffic on LeConte Avenue remains diverted, UCLA said.

In 2008, a staff research assistant at the university was killed in a lab fire on campus.

Sheharbano "Sheri" Sangji, 23, was severely burned over nearly half her body when air-sensitive chemicals burst into flames, causing injuries that led to her death 18 days later.

The incident prompted the university to improve its safety procedures, including increasing the number of lab inspections, creating more safety training and issuing lab coats.

[For the Record, 2:30 p.m. Oct. 24: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified Sangji as a student.]


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-- Rick Rojas