The Ames Fire Department responded to a fire Wednesday afternoon at Legacy, an apartment building in Campustown.
Ames Fire Chief Rich Higgins said that fire crews got dispatched at 1:56 p.m. to 119 Stanton Ave. for an 'other' fire. As additional calls came in, it was upgraded to a structure fire.
"When crews arrived on the scene they found smoke and fire on the exterior of the structure," Higgins said.
Improperly discarded smoking materials were the cause of the fire, igniting a pile of rubber mulch.
"And obviously it's rubber so it created a lot of black smoke in the area," he said.
Despite a large, thick cloud of black smoke, Higgins said that the damage to the building was relatively minor. The crews were able to quickly extinguish the fire and confirmed that the interior of the building was OK and that the fire did not enter the structure.
"With the black smoke it looked like a pretty big fire, and when anything comes in for a high rise, obviously, it has our attention," he said. "We wanted to make sure that we can get everybody out of the building safely and as quickly as possible if there was a fire, but luckily this was on the outside."