Cause of blaze at Smith College house under investigation

  • Firefighters responded to a report of a fire at the Duckett House, owned by Smith College, Wednesday morning. No injuries were reported and the cause of the blaze remains under investigation. staff photo/Alexander MacDougall

Published: 11/30/2022 4:08:07 PM
Modified: 11/30/2022 4:07:52 PM

NORTHAMPTON — No injuries were reported as a result of a Wednesday morning fire at the Duckett House, one of the residency houses at Smith College.

The cause of the fire, first reported at around 10 a.m. at the Elm Street house, is under investigation, according to Shawn Denkiewicz, deputy fire chief for the Northampton Fire Department. Smoke could be seen emanating from the interior of the building, though sprinkler systems inside the house prevented further spreading and the fire had dissipated by noon.

The fire broke out in one of the community rooms in the building, Denkiewicz said.

Firefighters from Easthampton, Hadley and South Deerfield also arrived on the scene to support the Northampton Fire Rescue unit. Sections of Elm Street and Bedford Terrace were closed off as a result of the incident as fire trucks packed the area.

Students were evacuated from the building, though no injuries have been reported as a result of the fire. Students were able to return to the house later in the evening, according to Barbara Solow, a college spokesperson.

Duckett House was acquired by Smith in 1968, although the building itself is nearly 200 years old. It houses 37 students and is named after former Smith College professor Eleanor Shipley Duckett.

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