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Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012 11:52 a.m.

Early morning City Hall fire started in trash chute

Nearly a dozen firefighters and five engines responded to a fire in City Hall’s trash chute early Wednesday morning. Sarah Ferris | Hatchet Staff photographer

A fire that forced students out of City Hall around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday began in the building’s trash chute, a University spokeswoman said.

“It appears that an individual put something in the trash chute that started a fire in the container at the bottom of the shaft,” Michelle Sherrard said.

Hundreds of students were evacuated for nearly an hour as more than a dozen firefighters extinguished the flames and cleared out the trash chute from the building’s lower level parking garage. Five fire engines arrived at the building, located at 950 24th St.

No rooms were damaged by the blaze, which set off sprinklers only in the building’s basement, Sherrard said.

The fire alarms sounded again as students began to reenter the building around 3:30 a.m., causing a stir among the hundreds of students packing the stairs and elevators. Sherrard said the alarm system had since been restored.

This was the second fire reported on campus this week. A laundry machine that caught fire in Dakota Hall caused damage to dozens of rooms Monday, temporarily relocating about 50 students to other halls.

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