Three engine companies, two hook-and-ladder trucks, one rescue squad, and a deputy chief of the Cambridge Fire Department rallied to save Quincy House from major damage yesterday evening after flames crept through a three-cushion couch in a sixth-story room.
Within fifteen minutes after the alarm was sounded at 5:10, (the fire had been put out a half hour earlier with a bucket of water) the nine trucks (plus a couple of police cars) had the building surrounded. As a big hydraulic ladder crunched against the top of the building, two firemen rushed inside.
"It's only a couch, Joe," one yelled from the window, as he dumped it outside, cushion by cushion. The frame was thoroughly axed in the room, taken downstairs in a freight elevator, and set under an open hydrant on DeWolfe St.
The fire began about 4:30 when a spotlight in the room ignited a piece of color- ed paper, which fell on a rug near the couch. As the fire smoked its way to the couch, an occupant of the room, William M. McConahey III '65, discovered and doused it.
Fifteen minutes later, according to McConahey, a night watchman appeared. After instructing McConahey to report all fires to the Fire Dept., the watchman proceded to set a good example.
There was no estimate of damage