Poster kiosk catches fire outside Vincent Hall Monday night

Rebecca Harrington

One of the pillars covered with posters caught fire on the University of Minnesota east bank campus Monday night. 

A University police officer responded to the incident outside of Vincent Hall around 7:40 p.m. and tried to put out the flames with a fire extinguisher, but was unsuccessful, according to the police report.

The Minneapolis Fire Department then arrived on the scene and put out the fire.

Animal science freshman Krista Alvord was leaving a chemistry review session in Smith Hall just before 8 p.m. when she said she smelled the smoke.

She saw a fire truck and officers crowded around the scene, she said, and wondered if a building was on fire.

“It might have been a bigger fire before we came out, because I know there was a lot of smoke,” Alvord said. “But … by the time we got out there, I think they had it mostly under control.”

University Deputy Police Chief Chuck Miner said the fire only damaged the paper on the kiosk and no one was injured.

The cause of the fire is unknown and police are still investigating. Miner said they are reviewing camera footage for clues.

This crime would be a misdemeanor for arson, he said, because the fire didn’t damage the kiosk structure.

Miner said similar cases usually occur once a year on average and that the last one was a year or two ago.

“We’ve had a few cases where there’s been a spurt of them, and we believe that generally there’s somebody who has set the fire,” Miner said. “We don’t know that that’s the case here, but it most likely didn’t start from, you know, natural causes.”

For more details on the fire, check back to this page and pick up Wednesday’s Minnesota Daily.