William Flynn Miller IV, 21, a senior at the University of Georgia, was drinking with other students at the Lambda Chi Alpha frat house early Tuesday when the bottle of 190-proof alcohol ignited and set Miller's clothes on fire. The incident remains under investigation by the university to see if any of its regulations had been violated.
Miller sustained second-degree burns over 20 percent of his body and was taken to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital in Augusta, hospital spokeswoman Beth Frits said.
The drinking had been part of a ceremony for fraternity members who were preparing to graduate, police and fraternity members said.
Claudia Shamp, UGA associate dean for Greek Life, said she was waiting for a copy of the police investigation before determining how to proceed.
``Once we get the official documentation, then the university will look at the possibility of any code violation, either by an individual or by the fraternity as a whole,'' Shamp said. ``Alcohol is certainly a component to be looked at, and I certainly think fire safety and the use of an open flame is also something that we would look at.''
If any violations of the code of student conduct are found, UGA's Office of Judicial Programs would convene a tribunal to determine sanctions.
The accident occurred during Lambda Chi Alpha's ``Senior Night,'' a ceremony in which those who are preparing to graduate take turns at a podium to share remembrances of having belonged to the fraternity.
The fire happened at 3:20 a.m. Tuesday in a room lit only by an oil lamp next to a bottle of Everclear grain alcohol atop the podium. When Miller approached the podium, the 190-proof alcohol came in contact with the lamp, catching Miller's clothes on fire, police said.
Athens-Clarke police Capt. Mark Sizemore said officers determined through interviews with the victim and fraternity members that no crimes were committed. Police had been looking for a possible violation of the state's hazing law, which forbids fraternities from induction activities that endanger students.
``There is nothing to indicate that this was a drinking ritual,'' Sizemore said.
Jay Sammons, the fraternity's president, said a fraternity chapter meeting was held the evening of the fire.
``We pretty much found out the same thing everyone told the detectives, that it was an accident, that the drink spilled onto the lamp,'' Sammons said. ``I want to clear up right now that it was not a drinking game or party. It was a ceremony event we do every year as a farewell to seniors.'