Local News

UNC professor burned in tree fire, explosion raises money for cancer research

Posted November 8, 2017 12:50 p.m. EST
Updated November 8, 2017 1:17 p.m. EST

The astronomy professor injured in the Davie Poplar tree fire and explosion on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus on Thursday afternoon is turning "lemons into lemonade."

Professor Dan Reichart, who tried to put out the fire at the base of the tree, was burned on his face and arms when an explosion caused a fireball to erupt around him.

Reichart is participating in "No-Shave November" and will not be shaving this month due to his injuries.

"No-Shave November" is an online campaign where participant forgo shaving to raise awareness and raise money for cancer research.

"Help Lois and me turn something pointless and senseless into something meaningful," Reichart said on his fundraising page. "We've donated the first $100, and we're hoping that if everyone donates something, we can turn this into $1,000 (and maybe more!) for cancer research and prevention.

"You don't need to not shave, I've got that covered. All you need to do is sponsor me. Any amount is welcome."

The international "No-Shave November" campaign has raised over $3.5 million for cancer research and awareness over the past six years.

Joshua Daniel Edwards, a 24-year-old former student at UNC-Chapel Hill, will be charged with malicious use of explosives to inflict injury, malicious use of explosives to damage property, assembling a weapon of mass destruction, setting fire to grass or a grassland, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and filing a false police report in connection to the fire and explosion.