WATERVILLE — A candle left burning on a bureau in a dormitory room at Colby College today caused a fire that damaged items in the room and prompted evacuation of the building.

Fire Chief David LaFountain said a working sprinkler system extinguished the fire in the first-floor dorm room and kept it from spreading to the rest of the building, known as East Quad.

“What could have been a big issue is not,” LaFountain said at the scene. “We didn’t apply water to this; the sprinklers took care of it.”

The fire was reported at 9:39 a.m. Around 10 a.m., students huddled outside the East Quad, at least one wearing a bathrobe, while firefighters worked at the scene.

“The candle burned down the top of the bureau and caught some clothes on the floor on fire and caught a closet door that was open,” LaFountain said. “So, there’s burn damage to walls and a door, but overall, without sprinklers, it would have been a lot worse.”

Three students share the dorm room, and no one was there when the fire broke out, according to the chief.

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