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Archive for Friday, December 5, 1997

FIRE IN TRASH CHUTE FORCES EVACUATION OF KU HALL

December 5, 1997

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Several hundred Kansas University students were evacuated about an hour from a KU residence hall following a fire in a trash bin at the bottom of a trash chute.

Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical crews at 6:28 p.m. were called to McCollum Hall, where a fire was discovered in a ground-floor dumpster on the south side of the building.

The fire was extinguished within minutes, LDCF&M acting battalion chief Joe Thibodeau said.

There was little or no damage to the metal trash bin, he said. There also was no smoke damage.

The bin is at the bottom of a trash chute in which trash can be dumped from each hallway.

Smoking materials that had not been extinguished may have been placed in the chute, causing the fire, officials said.

Students were allowed to re-enter the hall at 7:25 p.m. Most waited in Ellsworth Hall, where they were able to stay out of the cold, said KU housing director Ken Stoner.

About 850 students live in the building.

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