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Thursday, September 16, 2021
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Wilkeson, Academic Center, parts of Spaulding evacuated after dumpster fire in Ellicott Tunnel

UPD Officer: No one injured, only dumpster sustains damaged, fire extinguished

Students evacuate Wilkeson Quad due to fire in Ellicott Tunnel
Students evacuate Wilkeson Quad due to fire in Ellicott Tunnel

A UB Alert was sent out at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday reporting a dumpster fire in the Ellicott Tunnel near Wilkeson Quadrangle. Wilkeson, the Academic Center and part of Spaulding were evacuated.

No one was injured and only the dumpster sustained damage, according to UPD Lt. K.Will. The fire was extinguished by 5:12 p.m., and students returned to their dorms around 5:20 p.m. 

While the evacuation was orderly, students were given little direction on where to congregate. Evacuees milled around Wilkeson Quad’s parking lot before paraprofessional staff directed them to stand further from the building. Students taking online classes struggled to pay attention and take notes while sitting on the curb. Approximately 30 students were reprimanded for remaining on Ellicott’s terrace to watch light smoke waft out from the tunnel.

Freshman Olivia Kot was in Wilkeson’s lounge when she got a notification that there was a fire.

“I was in the lounge doing chemistry homework,” Kot said. “I thought it was a drill. At first our fire alarm in the lounge wasn’t going off. So we were just sitting there until we got an email. That's when we got up to leave. Then [the fire alarms] started going off.”

The commotion woke Kendalyn Lusk, a freshman biotechnology major, from her nap.

“I didn’t know what was going on… I still don’t know what’s happening!” Lusk said while waiting to re-enter her Wilkeson dorm room. 

This is a developing story.

Grant Ashley is a senior news/features editor and can be reached at

Julie Frey is an assistant news/features editor and can be reached at  

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Grant Ashley is an assistant features editor for The Spectrum.  He is a political science major and a (mediocre) Spanish minor.  He enjoys taking long bike rides and recreating Bob Ross paintings in crayon. 

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Julie Frey is an assistant news/features editor for The Spectrum.



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