Trash Fire Spotted Near Tisch Building

An NYU student spotted a man setting fire to a pile of trash across from the Tisch building on Broadway.

A pile of trash was lit on fire across from the Tisch building on Broadway. (Staff Photo via Lisa Cochran)

McDonald’s workers extinguished a fire that broke out across from NYU’s Tisch building on Thursday night. No injuries have been reported thus far. 

Global Liberal Studies sophomore Trinity Rivas was leaving her class in the Tisch building on Broadway when she spotted the beginning stages of the incident around 9 p.m. 

“I noticed a man dressed in dark colors,” Rivas said. “He came out of McDonald’s and he lit a lot of trash on fire. It was quite a significant amount of trash.”

Rivas recalls watching the man set the pile of trash on fire.

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“It seemed like he was bending down, and actually pulled out a lighter and lit it — not one of those cases that it was just an accidental occurrence,” Rivas said. “I didn’t really register it. I did think it was a little weird — I didn’t think it was safe, but I honestly wasn’t sure what was going on.” 

After it began, Rivas said a man ran out of the Tisch building and started kicking the fire in an attempt to extinguish the flames. 

At the same time, a customer alerted McDonald’s employees to the fire. While the store’s manager called the fire department, two employees, including Hassan Clasp, grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran to put out the fire.

“We both walked it outside and were tussling with it for a minute,” Clasp said. “I’ve never used a fire extinguisher before, then someone came and pulled the pin out and I just sprayed it out for about five minutes.”  

Clasp said there were around 50 to 100 people standing on the sidewalk — largely students waiting outside the Tisch building for the NYU shuttle — watching while he put out the fire. 

“It was fun, I guess,” Clasp said of using the fire extinguisher. 

At the time of publication, there have been no reports from NYU Public Safety. This is a developing story and will be updated as WSN learns more. 

Additional reporting by Lisa Cochran.

Email Emily Mason at [email protected]

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