Yesterday, in the early morning darkness, Ukiah Valley Fire Authority personnel responded to reports of a dumpster fire around 1:15 in the parking lot of Burger King at 711 East Perkins Street.
Acting Battalion Chief John Corippo said the fire burned fast, destroying most of the contents of the dumpster, and was controlled quickly.
What remains unknown is how exactly that dumpster fire began. Corippo told us surveillance footage of the scene did not depict any person or thing near the dumpster that could have ignited the flames.
Footage from the scene captured a darkened dumpster, “then a small flame lick up, and it went up in two minutes, putting up a good sized fireball.”
“Whatever happened was cloaked in the darkness of the night.”
Corippo added there was no evidence the dumpster contained anything that could spontaneously combust such as oil-soaked rags. “It was mostly filled with paper products”.
Corripo, admitting he had no evidence to corroborate his theory, said, “I’m assuming someone threw something in there and walked away.”
The danger presented by the fire was limited. Corippo said the dumpster sat in the middle of an asphalt parking lot with a concrete wall built around it with no immediate vegetation. Another dynamic suppressing the chance of spread was the low temperatures in the early morning.