COLUMBIA — A fire in a strip mall near the intersection of Stadium Boulevard and West Broadway was contained to a Dumpster in the parking lot and quickly controlled by fire crews.
Five Columbia Fire Department vehicles responded to the Dumpster fire Saturday evening outside The UPS Store at the strip mall at 2101 W. Broadway. There was no structural damage reported, and the fire was ruled accidental.
Workers were painting and plastering at The UPS Store when an industrial trash Dumpster they were using outside the building caught on fire, Capt. Michael Cox said. The workers reported the fire at 5:56 p.m., and the fire was controlled shortly after the arrival of the first engine at 6 p.m. Cox said the cost of repainting the Dumpster was estimated at $750.
Firefighters were still using a ladder to spray "hot spots" in the Dumpster after 6:30 p.m., and the air smelled of burnt industrial materials. The Dumpster was just a few feet away from the front of the building. Cox said the fire could have been caused by toluene, a highly flammable chemical used in some paint thinners. The Dumpster also contained lumber, carpet, glue paper and other adhesives.
Cox said The UPS Store would open on Monday as expected, provided the workers finished the rest of their work on Sunday.