The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Fire Breaks Out in Columbia University Dorm

By Becky Schlikerman | August 21, 2012 3:24pm | Updated on August 21, 2012 4:47pm
The library at Columbia University.
The library at Columbia University.
View Full Caption

MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS — A small fire broke out in a Columbia University dorm on Tuesday afternoon, the FDNY said.

Two people were taken by ambulance to St. Luke's Hospital with minor smoke inhalation injuries, the FDNY said.

The fire, in a 12-story dorm at 600 W. 116th Street, was reported at 2:49 p.m. after smoke was spotted in the basement, an FDNY spokesman said.

"It smelled like a wood burning set," said resident Dolores Clayton, referring to craft projects that involve burning. "I heard the fire bells. When the fire bells go off you leave."

The building houses a mix of Barnard College students and families who lived in the building before the university bought it, Clayton said.

The fire didn't move past the basement and caused "very very little damage" to the building, FDNY Battalion Chief Greg Lehr said. Firefighters had the blaze under control in 30 minutes.

Fire officials believe the fire started when workers were removing a steel staircase from Ollie's, a restaurant next door that's under renovation. The movement created a spark that ignited wood framing in a shaft in the building, Lehr said.

A Columbia University spokesman was not available immediately for comment.