Students Evacuated After Saturday Fire
Buswell Street blaze sparked by ashes left in garbage can
More than 30 students were forced to evacuate their dorm at 6 Buswell St. on Saturday morning after a fire, apparently caused by smoking residue left in a garbage can, broke out in the residence hall. No one was injured during the incident.
The fire, reported to the Boston University Police Department at approximately 3:30 a.m., started after a student emptied the ashes from a hookah pipe into the garbage can in his room. The student then left the top-floor apartment, according to the police report; one of his roommates woke several hours later when he smelled smoke.
Most of the residents returned to the building after the fire was extinguished; the four residents of the apartment affected were relocated by the Residence Life staff. The room where the fire started sustained smoke and water damage.
“As a community, we were fortunate — I am pleased that there were no injuries or widespread damage,” says Kenneth Elmore, the dean of students. “I am also impressed by the quick reaction of our staff and local authorities, as well as the students at 6 Buswell St. who quickly got themselves out of the building and looked after one another by knocking on doors to alert each other of the danger. But we should all use this unfortunate moment to take the time to reread information about fire safety and to consider changing any personal habits and behavior that is unsafe.”
At least three other fires have occurred in student housing this academic year, all caused by careless behavior: one started when clothes draped over a lamp began to smolder, while another was sparked when students forgot to turn off their oven before heading out on a Friday night. Elmore and BU Police Chief Thomas Robbins held a town hall meeting earlier this month to discuss fire safety with students.
“We’re asking people to be more aware, to pay attention, and to be more careful,” said Robbins. “The main thing is that we want to avoid a tragedy.”
Elmore says that the residents of Buswell Street were very lucky to have avoided injury during Saturday’s fire, and he urges students to be more careful.
“As far as fire and personal safety within this community,” he says, “rather than rely solely on grace, I prefer we rely on what we can control: thoughtful, responsible, daily personal actions.”
Jessica Ullian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Comments