Downing Site 'Blaze': More Like Smoke Without Fire?

Eleanor Dickinson 16 September 2011

Fire services were called to the Downing Site last night after reports of smoke and burning plastic occurred in a first floor office building. The alarm was raised over initial fears that hazardous chemicals had caused a fire in a science department building.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Services told The Cambridge Student: “At 9pm last night (15), two crews from Cambridge, a turntable ladder from Cambridge, a hazardous materials unit from St Neots, a crew from St Neots and a rescue vehicle from Huntingdon were called to a suspected fire involving chemicals at the Earth Sciences building in Downing Street, Cambridge. They discovered a small fire in a light fitting on the first floor of the four storey building.”

The spokesman reiterated that the fire was “very small and limited to the light fitting”. Fire fighters were said to have isolated the electricity and evacuated the building as a precautionary measure.

However, Cambridge University have downplayed the incident, stating that the incident was merely “burnt out light fittings” and no actual fire occurred.

Despite reports by the Cambridge News that two people were taken to hospital, the University claims “someone was treated for respiratory problems on site by paramedics, but was then allowed to go home”.

Both parties agreed that the damage was very limited and the Downing Site was confirmed to be open again this morning.

Eleanor Dickinson