BOSTON—The parking garage at Harvard Business School’s Soldiers Field Park caught fire just after noon today, emitting plumes of smoke that billowed across Allston and were visible from Harvard Yard.
No one appeared to have been injured in the fire, which was extinguished around 12:40, and no one was seen being placed into an ambulance.
Rebecca Rollins, associate director of the Harvard News Office, confirmed that no injuries have been reported.
Though the cause of the fire is unknown, eye-witnesses at the scene said that after one car went up in flames, the fire spread to the three cars closest to it. Some Harvard University Police Department officers on the scene speculated that the flames were fanned by the strong breeze, aided by the openness and air-flow pattern of the above-ground garage.
Rollins said that none of the cars had exploded, but could not say how the first car had caught on fire.
Six cars in total appeared to have been affected—the four that reportedly caught aflame, plus the one car on either side. The parking lot is used by Business School faculty and staff; Rollins did not know if the garage is also used by students.
The fire appeared to have been on the west side of the garage on the third level. Rollins said that there was extensive smoke damage, but that the damage appeared not to be structural. She added that a building inspector is currently examining the garage.
Just after 12:30, Business School employees were evacuated from Soldiers Field Park 2, the building just north of the affected garage.
At 12:41, visible flames were extinguished by the Boston Fire Department, and three firefighters were able to make their way into the area where the cars had burned. At 12:47, the fire truck equipped with a cherrypicker lowered its extension ladder, and by 12:49, ten firefighters were seen in the area where the flames had previously been.
In sum, seven large fire trucks—as well as an assortment of smaller emergency vehicles—were observed on the scene.
Rollins said that faculty, staff, and students have been alerted about the fire. An information area has been set up at the “daycare drop-off spot” near the garage. The area will provide information about how employees whose cars were in the garage can claim their cars and when.
—Check www.thecrimson.com for updates. —Staff writer Paras D. Bhayani can be reached at email@example.com. —Staff writer Brittney L. Moraski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.