Student Life | The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878

Dumpster catches fire outside Sam Fox School

Emily Sybrant | Student Life

Scorched trash and a burnt dumpster remain after a brief fire Monday afternoon outside the Sam Fox School. The flames were put out around 1:30 p.m. by the St. Louis Fire Department, though maintenance staff were the first to respond.

The smell of smoke filled the Sam Fox School Monday afternoon when a dumpster on the south side of Bixby Hall caught fire.

While staff rushed to put out the flames, maintenance worker and carpenter Nick Garcia said, they ran out of fire extinguishers before local firefighters arrived at the scene minutes later.

No one was injured, and the only damage was some scorched trash and a burnt-off dumpster lid.

University maintenance workers were the first on the scene and put out most of the fire with extinguishers by the time the St. Louis Fire Department arrived at around 1:30 p.m. The firefighters quenched the remaining fire.

Lieutenant Mark Glenn with the Washington University Police Department said that the city’s fire department was unable to determine the cause of the fire and that WUPD will work with them and Facilities Planning & Management to look into the matter.

Garcia was the first to notice the fire. He estimated that the dumpster had been burning for about five minutes when he got to it and began trying to put it out.

The maintenance staff used fire extinguishers from the first floor of Bixby Hall and Steinberg Hall to fight the fire while waiting for professionals to arrive on the scene.

“We got lucky,” Garcia said. “A lot of the guys were over in this area doing some work, so when I walked inside to get a fire extinguisher, they were all in there and they all grabbed one and came out.”


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Student Life | The independent newspaper of Washington University in St. Louis since 1878