Fire Chars 18 Cars at Business School Garage

Evan H. Jacobs

Boston firefighters work to put out a fire at Harvard Business School's Soldiers Field Parking Garage. By about 12:40, they had extinguished the blaze, which badly damaged or destroyed at least six cars.

BOSTON—The parking garage at Harvard Business School’s Soldiers Field Park caught fire just after noon on Tuesday, emitting plumes of smoke that billowed across Allston and were visible from Harvard Yard.

The fire was extinguished around 12:40 pm. No injuries occurred as a result of the fire, according to Harvard News Office Director Joe Wrinn.

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. By 12:49, ten firefighters were seen in the area where the flames had previously been.

Eyewitnesses at the scene said that after one car went up in flames, the fire spread to the three vehicles 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.

Rebecca Rollins, associate director of the Harvard News Office, said on Tuesday that none of the cars had exploded, but she could not say how the first car had caught on fire. Wrinn said yesterday that the cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

Six cars were totaled as a result of the fire, and 12 additional cars were damaged in varying degrees, Wrinn said. There were 253 cars in the garage at the time of the fire.

The fire occurred on the third level of the west side of the garage. In addition to what Rollins called “extensive smoke damage,” Wrinn said that some structural damage to the building had occurred. Those areas have been shored up, Wrinn said.

The garage remained unopened as of last night, according to Wrinn. Owners of vehicles had until noon on Wednesday to claim their vehicles. Cars left unclaimed were then towed out to a Business School parking lot, Wrinn said.

—Staff writer Paras D. Bhayani can be reached at pbhayani@fas.harvard.edu.
—Staff writer Brittney L. Moraski can be reached at bmoraski@fas.harvard.edu.

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