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Campus Life

St. Mary’s Street Fire Leaves One Dead

Cause of blaze under investigation

A four-alarm fire that started at about 6 a.m. Friday has left one person dead and heavily damaged the third floor of an apartment building occupied largely by Boston University students. Brookline Police Captain John O’Leary said the victim has been identified as 19-year-old Derek Crowl of Elysburg, Pa. Police said Crowl, who was not a BU student, was visiting a high school friend who attends Boston University and lived in the apartment at 49 St. Mary’s St.

Brookline Fire Chief John Green told reporters that there had been a party in the apartment the night before the fire and that a charcoal barbecue was lit on the porch about 1 a.m. He said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The fire chief said all but one occupant escaped the early morning fire, and it appeared Crowl had fled, in confusion, into a closet, where his body was found. Fire officials reported that two firefighters suffered minor injuries.  

Boston University Associate Dean of Students Jack Weldon said his office had contacted all of the 19 students who had been displaced by the fire, and had secured temporary lodgings. He said the Dean of Students’ Office would meet with displaced students on Monday and help arrange permanent housing for all who needed it.

Marsh Chapel chaplains will serve dinner for students affected by the fire from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday evening in the chapel basement. Chaplain James Olson said his office welcomes calls from all members of the BU community at any time; all three University chaplains can be reached at 617-353-3560. Students seeking information about property at 49 St. Mary’s St. should contact the Boston University police at 617-353-2121. On Monday morning, students can contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 617-353-4126.

The Brookline Police Department’s Community Emergency Response Team and the American Red Cross are also working to find housing for anyone who has been displaced by the fire damage.