BARRE — An alert passerby and a fast-acting fire department made quick work of a small blaze that started on the second story porch of an occupied apartment building Saturday afternoon.

Summoned to the scene shortly after 3 p.m. by a woman who saw flames on the wooden porch of the apartment house at the corner of Prospect and Burnham streets, firefighters quickly extinguished the second-floor blaze.

Firefighters cleared the scene shortly after 3:30 p.m. after confirming it hadn’t spread beneath the floor boards of the second-floor porch. Damage to the building was minimal and confined to the porch. Firefighters said “discarded smoking materials” appear to have caused the small fire.

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