Contact: Captain John Metz
Duty PIO Pager 573-441-6608 (For Active Emergency Incidents - Leave detailed message)
Office 573-874-7644 (M-F, 8-5)
At 1:16 p.m. today the Columbia Fire Department responded to a reported fire at 515 South Fifth Street on the MU Campus. The fire was reported to be in the kitchen area of the "Mark on 5th Street," the campus dining facility for Mark Twain Hall.
Columbia firefighters arrived on the scene at 1:21 p.m. and discovered that the fire had been extinguished by an alert MU Police Officer. The MU officer was on patrol a few blocks away when the fire was dispatched. He arrived on the scene, investigated, and using a portable fire extinguisher from the dining hall, extinguished the fire.
"As soon as the fire was discovered, Campus Dining staff did an excellent job of simultaneously evacuating the dining hall and calling 9-1-1" said Columbia Fire Captain John Metz. "Fortunately, the MU police officer was close, and the fire was still small enough to be controlled with a hand-held extinguisher" Metz said.
The fire involved the control unit on a commercial kitchen freezer. Damage was contained to the freezer unit itself. Using large fans, the fire department worked for about an hour removing smoke and fire extinguisher dust from the kitchen and dining area. There was some slight smoke staining to the kitchen area around the freezer.
The fire originated in the top-mounted control unit of the freezer and is believed to be the result of an electrical malfunction. Damage is estimated at $9000. The dining hall, which seats approximately 230 students, is expected to reopen at 4:30 p.m. for dinner.
Three fire engines, a ladder truck, and a rescue squad responded to the incident. There were no injuries.