Dumpster fire burns outside McKeldin Library

Police blocked off the area next to McKeldin. (Photo by Pablo Roa.) 

A dumpster outside of McKeldin Library caught on fire this afternoon.

The University of Maryland Fire Department responded to a student’s 911 call at 1:50 p.m., according to a College Park Police spokesman.

An officer and four firefighters reported to the location, where small flames and smoke were coming out of a dumpster. The firefighters were able to extinguish the fire “fairly quickly,” according to University Assistant Fire Marshal Matthew Hicks.

Junior food science major Jeff Dahlka and his roommate were walking to class when they noticed a crowd near McKeldin, then saw smoke and flames.

“It was pretty close to McKeldin itself,” Dahlka said. “It wasn’t huge when I was walking by, but it looked like it could potentially get bigger.”

The dumpster will need to be cleaned and repainted and requires new siding and plastic overhangs, according to Hicks.

The fire occurred next to one of the four permitted smoking stations on campus. Hicks said the cause of the fire was unknown but that it was “most likely due to improper disposal of smoking materials.”