A pile of old computers at Bedford Middle School's loading dock erupted into a smoky fire Tuesday afternoon, but the blaze was extinguished by firefighters before it spread to the school building.

Firefighters received a report of heavy smoke and flames at the North Avenue school about 12:40 p.m. Tuesday, and when they arrived, found the fire had engulfed a pile of old computer equipment alongside the loading dock area.

Firefighters from three engines and a ladder truck extinguished the blaze and evacuated the building, where some staff was on hand preparing for the start of the new academic year next Tuesday.

The Fire Marshal staff and firefighters dug through the pile of burned debris to try to determine the cause of the fire, but none was immediately identified.

The last fire unit cleared the scene about two hours later.