None hurt as Cambridge office roof blaze is quelled

Fire out in minutes

CAMBRIDGE — A fire atop a 14-story building in Kendall Square Friday afternoon sent black clouds billowing skyward that were visible for miles, but the fire was quickly brought under control by Cambridge firefighters and no injuries were reported.

Firefighters responded to a call at about noon for a fire on the roof of the office building at 1 Main St. The blaze led first responders to shut down Memorial Drive, the Longfellow Bridge, and Land Boulevard as firetrucks rolled into the area.

Assistant Fire Chief James Burns said in a telephone interview that the two-alarm fire was suppressed by 12:10 p.m., just a few minutes after firefighters arrived.


Black smoke could be seen billowing from the high-rise building for miles. Local television station helicopter footage showed firefighters on the roof of the building, where the smoke appeared to be coming out of a cooling unit.

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

No injuries were reported; the cause of the fire had not been determined, officials said.

The Oracle University Training Centre and the MIT Technology Review magazine are among the tenants in the building.

A woman who works on the first floor of the office building said workers were alerted to a problem by loudspeaker and most stayed at their desks until seeing the smoke. At that point, they evacuated and many workers gathered at rally points to wait out the fire response.

Tim Miranda was walking from the CambridgeSide Galleria to Kendall Square when he saw the smoke, the response by firefighters, and office workers leaving the building.


“I saw people around the building at meeting points,’’ Miranda. “It looked like people were ordering pizza because they were out for lunch basically. It looked really organized, actually.’’

John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement
. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe. Jacqueline Tempera can be reached at jacqueline.tempera
. Follow her on twitter @jacktemp.