Downtown fire chars Salvation Army dumpster

It was a good time for a training session.

A Saturday morning dumpster fire at Juneau’s downtown Salvation Army thrift store was quickly extinguished as Capital City Fire/Rescue firefighters abandoned a planned EMT training class to grab hoses and a ladder truck.

The fire, although small, sent a smothering plume of smoke skyward about 9:30 a.m. Saturday. The smoke was visible across downtown Juneau and from Douglas, seemingly indicating a large fire. Thanks to the quick response of firefighters and a Salvation Army worker who emptied four fire extinguishers into the fire, that didn’t happen.

“Thank goodness they knocked it down quick and got it away from the building,” Assistant Fire Chief Tod Chambers told the Empire after the fire was extinguished.

The fire started in a dumpster behind the thrift store. That dumpster is beneath an awning separate from the building, and while the awning was blackened by smoke streaks that extended up the back side of the thrift store itself, damage didn’t spread into the building itself.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the awning itself was charred or simply blackened by smoke.

• Contact reporter James Brooks at or call 523-2258.