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Harrisonburg Fire Department responded to an exterior fire in building 1250 late Tuesday night.

Harrisonburg Fire Department responded to a fire in The Harrison late Tuesday night.

Battalion Chief Larry Werner said the fire started outside on a porch in building 1250. The fire didn’t spread inside before it was extinguished, and no injuries were reported.

The roof of the porch was removed, and no glass appeared to have shattered.

Battalion Chief Deputy Fire Marshall Mike Armstrong said a bird’s nest on top of an exterior porch light sparked and caused a fire.

Michael Heyl is a resident of building 1250, apartment J, where the fire started.

“The light must’ve just exploded, I guess,” Heyl said. “It caused a hole to burn in the ceiling.” The fire spread to the porch floor as well, he said.

“Shock and, just, adrenaline rush,” Heyl said, describing his realization of the fire. He said he notified his girlfriend and his roommate, who were also in the apartment, and they waited for HFD to arrive.

Heyl said “not a lot” of damage had been done.

Late Tuesday night, residents at The Harrison smelled smoke. Harrisonburg Fire Department responded to a fire a Building 1250 of The Harrison.

A bird's nest caught fire on one of the light fixtures located outside the sliding glass door of the apartment. The students living in apartment J are currently living in one of the model apartments at The Harrison until further notice. No one was injured.


Avery Holloway, who lives in building 1250 below Apartment J, said she and her roommate were watching a movie when they saw sparks fly from the deck above to their own.

“We were kind of just concerned, so we went out and then we saw another fall and then i kind of knew that it was probably not a good thing,” Holloway said.

Holloway proceeded to call the HFD, pull on the fire alarm and start checking on other residents.

Julia Lane, a resident at The Harrison, said she was asleep when she got a call from her friend that said the apartment complex was on fire.

She said she ran outside and saw that one of the porch lights on an outer deck had caught on fire, and the fire had reached the ceiling. Lane estimated that HFD arrived about five minutes after the fire started and that the fire was extinguished within about two minutes.

Werner said the only people currently displaced are the residents of Apartment J, where the fire took place.

CORRECTION: May 4, 1:52 a.m. — Avery Holloway's name was misspelled in a previous version of this article. The article has been updated to reflect those changes.

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