Police: Fire at BYU dorm caused by student making rocket fuel

Feb 21, 2022, 10:45 AM | Updated: Feb 22, 2022, 12:15 pm
A student started a fire in his dorm after cooking rocket fuel on his stove....
Images of damage done by a fire a Heritage Halls (Building 4) dormitory room on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Photo credit: BYU Police
(Building 4)

PROVO, Utah — A student is under investigation after he started a fire in a BYU dorm while making rocket fuel in his room. He caused an explosion and fire in one of the Heritage Halls dorms.

Fire explodes out of BYU dorm room

Police officers and Provo firefighters responded to a fire on Sunday afternoon. According to BYU Police, they found that sprinklers had been activated which were flooding the main floor of a dorm room.

BYU Police Lt. Jeff Long said the student admitted he was cooking homemade rocket fuel on the stove.

“It had flashed and caused a fireball which then created enough heat that it tripped the sprinkler system,” Long said.

Investigators are still not certain why the student was making this dangerous mixture that lead to the fire in the BYU dorm. 

How the investigation is panning out

Long said they don’t know what the student was planning to do with it, but they don’t believe it was for any criminal or nefarious activity. He said it’s possible the student was just curious how to make it and researched recipes online.

“Our investigators are still digging into that.  There are still some interviews that need to be conducted with some of the residents to answer that very question of why they thought this was a good idea,” Long said.

He said this case might sound quirky, but it was actually a very dangerous situation.  This kind of fuel burns much hotter than other fuels, and 22 people live in that wing of the building.

“That type of heat and that large amount of compound really could have been devastating,” he says.

Firefighters responded quickly to the scene and nobody was injured, but BYU Police said that some dorm residents will be displaced because of the flooding. Long said they haven’t ruled out filing criminal charges.

Other reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

road home...
Allie Litzinger

The road home is in need of donations and volunteers this winter

SALT LAKE CITY — Cooler temperatures leave the homeless and unhoused service providers vulnerable. Road Home community coordination director Karissa Guthrie says they are in need of cold weather clothing and hand warmers most. These providers are always in need of donations no matter the season, however freezing temperatures only worsen the situation. “Lets say […]
17 hours ago
(Utah Highway Patrol)...
Elizabeth Weiler

Head on collision reported, State Route 73 closure

SALT LAKE CITY — Police are reporting a head-on collision resulting in life flight assistance.  Spencer Cannon with Utah County Sheriff’s office said the collision occurred at SR 73 just east of Eagle Mountain Boulevard.  Cannon said the highway will likely be shut down for at least half an hour.  This is an ongoing story […]
17 hours ago
Hundreds gather in support of transgender youth in a rally at the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023...
Lindsay Aerts

LGBTQ advocacy groups to file lawsuit over Utah’s transgender-related surgery law

SALT LAKE CITY — The National Center for Lesbian Rights and the ACLU of Utah will file a lawsuit against the new Utah law banning transgender minors from getting surgeries and limiting hormone treatments. “We’re putting together a challenge as quickly as we can,” said Shannon Minter, the NCLR’s legal director, to KSL NewsRadio’s Lindsay […]
17 hours ago
Homes line the horizon in Daybreak in South Jordan on Wednesday, July 13, 2022. The world's populat...
Allessandra Harris

South Jordan could see new housing development

Amid Utah's housing crisis, developers are taking advantage of over 200,000 acres in South Jordan for a new housing community.
17 hours ago
FILE - This Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, file photo shows application icons from left, Facebook, Facebook...

Surgeon General says 13 is ‘too early’ to join social media

(CNN) — U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy says he believes 13 is too young for children to be on social media platforms because although sites allow children of that age to join, kids are still “developing their identity.” Meta, Twitter, and a host of other social media giants currently allow 13-year-olds to join their platforms. […]
17 hours ago
FILE - Motown's Barrett Strong arrives at the induction ceremony for 35th annual National Academy o...

Barrett Strong, Motown singer and songwriter, dead at 81

   (CNN) — Barrett Strong, the voice and songwriter behind Motown Records’ first hit, has died, according to a post from The Motown Museum. He was 81. “It is with great sadness that we share the passing of legendary @classicmotown singer and songwriter Barrett Strong. The voice behind @motownrecords’ first hit, the iconic “Money (That’s What […]
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Police: Fire at BYU dorm caused by student making rocket fuel