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Fire at the Australian National University

Canberra Times logo Canberra Times 26/05/2014 Ben Westcott
Evacuated: Fire and Rescue attend a fire at the ANU School of Art. © Melissa Adams Evacuated: Fire and Rescue attend a fire at the ANU School of Art.

Almost 70 people were evacuated at the Australian National University because of a fire in a rubbish compactor outside the School of Art.

The fire, which is now extinguished, sent plumes of smoke rising above the campus.

An ANU spokesperson said no one was injured in the fire, which started in an extraction unit in a shed attached to the school's woodworking area. 

School of Art student Luke Yates said he could smell smoke and it got "stronger and stronger". He and fellow students were evacuated and that's when they saw the fire.

"A fireball was being blown out of the extractor," he said.

"It was a pretty big fire.

"The extractor got emptied and serviced just the other day."

One student said a colleague had grabbed his arm and almost dragged him out of the school, yelling "Move!"

Fire Brigade Commander Jim Schlizio said a small amount of smoke had got into the building and fire-fighters were working with the building manager to work out how it started.

He said only the compactor had been damaged in the fire, which was first reported at 4.29pm.

"Ventilation operations are under way in the building which is smoke logged. The fire did not enter the building," the agency said in a statement.

"Three pumpers, the Breathing Apparatus Van and a commander are on scene. Crews were alerted to the incident from several Emergency Triple Zero (000) calls and an automated fire alarm."

Photo at the ANU Art School? (via @BuchanElizabeth)

— Guy Leech (@guyleech) May 26, 2014

Art school on fire

— Hannah McCann (@HannahKy) May 26, 2014

Fire fighters responding to an incident at ANU Arts School.

— Ben Westcott (@Ben_Westcott) May 26, 2014

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