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Chemistry Teacher Suffers First and Second-Degree Burns While Conducting Experiment
At the time of conducting experiment on Wednesday, a chemistry teacher suffered first- and second-degree burns. According to officials, Silja Paymer was conducting a demonstration in front of class at Palo Alto High School when a chemical reaction led to a fire and her clothes and hair caught fire.
According to Principal Kim Diorio, parents of the teachers were instantly informed. Diorio said that the teacher instantly doused the flame in the emergency showers located in all of our science classrooms. Rapid thinking of the teacher prevented any additional injuries or damage to the classroom.
It has been reported that Paymer suffered first and second degree burns to about 18% of her body. According to Palo Alto Fire Department Battalion Chief Kevin McNally, the teacher is presently confined at a burn unit for treatment. Diorio said that she was taken for medical services and the majority of her injuries appear to be first degree burns. It is expected that the teacher will be fully recovered.
“The situation could have been much bad were it not for the quick thinking of Ms. Paymer and her students. I can assure you that she did not lose consciousness and in speaking with her”, said Diorio. Diorio said she know she is more worried about her students’ response to what they witnessed than her own pain.
The school is checking and making sure that all students are feeling ok. Around 11:23 a.m., the firefighters were called at the school. According to McNally, the fire was out at the time they reached the school at 50 Embarcadero Road. Some books and papers were also damaged in the fire.