A fire broke out early Friday morning at Southern Maine Community College, but the South Portland Fire Department says a sprinkler system prevented major damage.

Fire crews responded to SMCC just after midnight following an alert from the campus fire alarm system.

They found the college’s automatic sprinkler system had activated, containing the flames in the SeaWolves Café, the department posted on Facebook. The fire did not extend beyond the initially ignited contents.

Without the automatic activation of the sprinklers, South Portland Fire Chief Phil Selberg said damage to the building could have been substantial.

“This fire occurred in the middle of the night when no one was in the building to discover it,” he said in a statement. “The sprinkler system worked as it was designed and saved the Campus Center.”

Due to the location of the campus, the Cape Elizabeth Fire Department automatically responded. The cause of the fire was found to be accidental, but more details were not released.

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