DeKalb County

15-year-old student burned in high school chemistry experiment

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A high school student was taken to a hospital after he was burned in a chemistry experiment.

Malachi McFadden, 15, is at Grady Memorial Hospital's burn unit after he suffered first-degree and second-degree burns in chemistry class.

McFadden's sister Shantiqua Roberts told Channel 2's Richard Elliot her brother is in a lot of pain, but they are hopeful his burns will fully heal.

His sister shared photos of his burns so people could see the extent of his injuries.

“When I first seen him, I just cried because that’s one of my baby brothers,” she said.


Redan High School confirmed the accident happened Tuesday morning, which marked only the second day of school for DeKalb County.

Roberts said her brother told her his chemistry teacher was trying to do an experiment, but it caught fire. He said the teacher tried to put out the flames with what she thought was water, but instead it was alcohol.

McFadden told his sister it felt like a torch was burning his face, neck, arms and hand.

Elliot asked the school district if the teacher had used alcohol. They said they have launched an investigation to determine the details of how it happened.

Channel 2 Action News received this copy of an email that was sent to parents Tuesday:

"Dear parents and guardians,

"This communication is to inform you of an incident that took place this morning with a lab experiment. During a Chemistry experiment, a student was burned from a flame. EMS was called to the scene to provide medical services to the student. Let me take this opportunity to assure you that providing a safe and secure learning environment is a top priority at Redan High School. This is an isolated incident and all safety measures will be reviewed. We appreciate your heartfelt thoughts as we champion around our fellow Redan Raider as he recovers. Please do not hesitate to contact me at 678-676-3602 should you have any questions. Thank you for your continued support and cooperation.


"Mrs. Janice Boger, Principal"