SLAM opening unaffected by dumpster fire

A dumpster fire outside the State Library, Archives, and Museum Tuesday night will not delay the building’s opening day, according to the SLAM deputy director.

Bob Banghart said the cause of Tuesday night’s fire is still unknown, but it did occur in a restricted work zone. The only damage was the loss of one dumpster and some smoke stains on the building’s adjacent rear wall. Other than cleaning smoke off the wall and changing the head on one sprinkler, the fire will not add extra work to the construction project.

“If anything we’ve refreshed people’s memory that it’s a non-smoking site,” Banghart said jokingly Wednesday on the phone.

He said although a cigarette butt causing the flames is a possibility, he would not be surprised if it were a spontaneous combustion.

Banghart said the fire incident was unfortunate, however it assured him and others working at SLAM that the building’s alarm systems are working “flawlessly.”

Personnel from Capital City Fire/Rescue were not immediately available to answer questions about the fire or any investigation about its cause.

As previously reported in the Empire, the SLAM building’s construction cost $138.4 million and is taking place on a $2 million plot of land along Whittier Street. It is scheduled to be complete by the end of May, and a grand opening celebration is scheduled for June 6.

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