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Employee placed on leave after fire that injured 13, mostly children, at Reno science museum

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RENO, Nevada — An employee at a Reno science museum has been placed on leave after firefighters concluded her error during a demonstration led to a flash fire that injured 13 people, including at least eight children.

Officials at the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum said Thursday the unidentified employee will be off the job until a full investigation is completed.

PHOTO: Firefighters confer out side the Nevada Disvory Museum in Reno, Nev., Wednesday Sept. 3, 2014. A minor explosion during a science experiment at the museum burned several children and forced the evacuation of the museum..   (AP Photo/Scott Sonner).
Firefighters confer out side the Nevada Disvory Museum in Reno, Nev., Wednesday Sept. 3, 2014. A minor explosion during a science experiment at the museum burned several children and forced the evacuation of the museum.. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner).

Reno fire officials said a three- to five-second blaze erupted Wednesday after the employee poured alcohol on a cotton ball that had been dusted with boric acid and partially ignited.

Officials say the alcohol is supposed to be applied before the boric acid and the flame.

The demonstration is designed to create a small green fire tornado.

Eight children and an adult were treated at Renown Regional Medical Center. All were released within 24 hours.

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Video:
PHOTO: 13 people were treated for injuries including minor burns and smoke inhalation after a tornado demonstration went wrong at a science museum in Reno, Nevada. (Sept. 4)
13 people were treated for injuries including minor burns and smoke inhalation after a tornado demonstration went wrong at a science museum in Reno, Nevada. (Sept. 4)
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