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Fire chief: 'Science experiment gone wrong' may have caused McAllen school fire

McAllen Fire Chief Rafael Balderas says a 'science experiment gone wrong' may have caused a fire at IDEA public school Thursday morning. (KGBT)

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

McAllen Fire Chief Rafael Balderas says a "science experiment gone wrong" may have caused a fire at an IDEA public school Thursday morning.

The McAllen Fire Department received a call at about 9:38 a.m. regarding a fire inside a classroom at the IDEA public school located on the 200 block of North Bentsen Road.

Twenty students were transported to a local hospital to check for smoke inhalation as a precautionary measure. The students were not injured in the incident, Balderas said. One teacher reportedly suffered minor burns to the abdomen.

IDEA Public Schools CEO and Founder Tom Torkelson says he'll compensate students should they need medical attention as a result of the accident.

"I'll be paying for every single medical bill that comes as a result of this," Torkelson said. "The students are not at fault here. This is our responsibility, so we're going to be sure that we do our part to make it right."

Firefighters and emergency personnel responded to the scene.


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