Leaves on a ventilation grate outside of Quincy House’s New Residence Hall caught fire Monday afternoon, sending plumes of smoke into the air and triggering a multi-engine response from the Cambridge Fire Department.
The fire occurred outside of the building’s Junior Common Room. Cambridge Fire Department tweeted that it was responding to a structural fire on Plympton Street, where Quincy is located, at 1:19 p.m.
The fire was put out by 1:40 p.m. University staff members were removing several filled plastic bags from the site while firefighters were leaving the scene. Officers from the Harvard University Police Department were also on the scene.
While the fire was initially treated as a structural fire according to the fire department’s tweet, HUPD spokesperson Steven G. Catalano wrote in an emailed statement that it was not serious.
“There was a small contained fire of leaves and debris in a ventilation grate that was most likely caused by a discarded cigarette. It was extinguished by CFD,” Catalano wrote.
Cambridge Fire Department did not respond to a request for comment.
Smoke from the fire could be seen from Quincy’s dining hall, which is located above the House’s Junior Common Room, according to Quincy resident Mason G. Meyer ’20. Meyer was sitting in the dining hall at the time of the fire.
“There was a group of students. We began to smell the smoke, looked outside the window. You could see the just, like, plumes of smoke, ash piling up, which was interesting to say the least,” Meyer said. “It was small, just large enough to get attention.”
Students started leaving the area after discovering the smoke, according to Meyer. He said he went to the Junior Common Room, which smelled like smoke.
“I went into the JCR to check it out and it was not super fun in there,” he said. “It was really just filled with smoke.”
—Staff writer Ruoqi Zhang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @RuoqiZhang3.