how not to store isopentane...

From:"Montague, Donna C"

Thanks to all of you who have sent kind thoughts in my direction. Since more than a few of you have asked, here's the story.
Once upon a time, we were participating in a tissue harvest with a collaborator. She took muscles and we took bones. We finished the harvest for the day and set up for the following day's harvests. Unbeknownst to me or my boss, the collaborator placed her isopentane into our regular old -20 oC freezer (rather than the sparkless one in our other lab). Sometime in the morning (the fire chief says about 4:00 am) the compressor in the freezer came on with a spark and ignited the isopentane vapours that had filled the freezer space. The resulting explosion blew the door off the freezer, sailing it ten feet across the lab. The fire totally consumed the freezer interior contents before seeking further fodder in the interior spaces of the lab including the ceiling and all the wiring there. Luckily the fire department response time was short, less than five minutes after the alarm signal, but the damage was total. Pictures are available. We are still displaced but trying to carry on.
Thanks again for all the kind words, Donna Montague

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