SCHERERVILLE — People dining at Q-BBQ were evacuated Friday afternoon as fire crews quickly extinguished a dumpster fire outside the restaurant near U.S. 41 and Main Street. 

Firefighters were called at about 5 p.m. to Q-BBQ at 79 Indianapolis Blvd., Suite 200, for a report of a fire, Schererville Assistant Fire Chief Robert Patterson said. 

The evacuation was a precautionary measure "until the situation was under control," Patterson said.

Once crews cut the locks to the gate that enclosed the dumpster, the blaze was extinguished in about 15 minutes, he said. 

The Highland Fire Department also assisted, Patterson said. 

Crews reportedly noticed heavy black smoke as they responded to the scene, he said, noting the color of smoke was due to the dumpster being filled with mostly plastic and a grease container. 

The damage was contained to the brick exterior of Q-BBQ, which shares space in the strip mall area with Chico's Outlet, Tomato Bar Pizza Bakery and the YoAmazing Yogurt Shoppe.

The fire is under investigation, Patterson said. 

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Lauren covers breaking news, crime and courts for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet covering government, public policy, and the region’s heroin epidemic. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.