DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — One of the victims of a fire caused by a chemistry experiment in a Dinwiddie High School classroom had his tubes removed after nearly two weeks in the ICU.
The victim’s father told 8News that his son’s recovery at VCU Medical Center has been a humbling process. He has watched his son fighting through his injuries in a hospital bed ever since he was rushed in for treatment after the fire on Wednesday, Oct. 12. Then, just a couple of days ago, his son’s tubes were removed, providing more hope for their family.
Chris Bryant’s son, Jey Bryant, was severely injured in a chemistry experiment gone wrong at Dinwiddie County High School.
“A lot of fear, a lot of anxiety on everybody’s part. Obviously, a lot of pain on Jey’s part,” Bryant said.
Bryant told 8News that Jey received first, second, and third-degree burns from the fire. As a father, he couldn’t have imagined this happening.
“The swelling was so bad at first, I didn’t even recognize my own child,” he said.
Jey was one of four people who were rushed to the hospital after the incident. Included, were three students and a teacher.
Jey Bryant’s class had been conducting a classroom experiment in which their teacher was pouring methanol from an open, narrow-neck, one-gallon container.
“The initial call made it sound like it wasn’t as threatening as it was,” Bryant said.
The methanol vapor at the bottle opening caused a phenomenon known as flame jetting. this caused a large amount of the methanol to be rapidly emitted from the bottle and ignite, according to Dinwiddie county fire officials.
Bryant said Dinwiddie County Public Schools hasn’t helped as much as he would’ve liked but hopes things change after what happened to his son.
“They said they were trying to give us our space and I said I understood that. However, by the time you called we were already making moves to get our child that help he needed in the beginning,” Bryant said, speaking of the school district. “I think there needs to be a little more oversight on the safety, especially when it comes to the more dangerous experiments.”
8News reached out to Dinwiddie County Public Schools about the current condition of the teacher and two additional students involved. 8News previously reported that the other three victims were released from the hospital.