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Student Injured in Blaze Remains Critical

Outpouring of support for those left homeless

Boston Fire Department, damage at 84 Linden Street, Allston, MA fire January 22, 2012

Joshua Goldenberg (COM’14) sustained severe injuries after jumping from the second floor of this house at 84 Linden St., Allston. Photo courtesy of the Boston Fire Department

A 19-year old Boston University student who suffered severe head injuries after jumping from the second floor of a burning Allston apartment early Sunday remains in critical condition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

The father of Joshua Goldenberg (COM’14) says that while his son’s medical condition had not changed, a neurological examination on Tuesday did indicate “signs of improvement.” He says the family “is cautiously optimistic that Joshua will make a full recovery.” Goldenberg’s father says they are grateful to the staff of Beth Israel for “the exemplary care they’ve provided Joshua” and for “the tremendous support Joshua has received from his fellow students and everyone in the BU community.”

Goldenberg was living in an off-campus house at 84 Linden St. with six other students, all members of the BU chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu, when a fire broke out around 7 a.m. All seven residents, along with another BU student who was there at the time, were taken to area hospitals. One student, in addition to Goldenberg, remains hospitalized.

Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald says the cause of the blaze, which destroyed the house, remains under investigation. “Investigators have a pretty good idea of where the fire started,” he says, but want to reinterview some of the residents before going public with that information.

The fire, which took approximately 60 Boston firefighters to bring under control, has prompted an outpouring of support from Boston University and the broader community for the students, who lost virtually everything they owned.

BU offered temporary housing to all of the displaced students in “buffer spaces,” emergency lodging maintained by the University. Four have subsequently been assigned permanent University housing, and one has opted to live off campus temporarily. The Dean of Students Office has provided the students with bed linens, towels, and toiletries and has arranged with Barnes & Noble at BU to cover textbook replacement for the victims.

Further support has been organized by the Panhellenic Council in the form of a weeklong bake sale, running through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the GSU Link, with proceeds going to replace the displaced students’ clothing, textbooks, computers, and other items destroyed in the fire.

BU’s Florence and Chafetz Hillel House has set up a fund to help the students pay for medical and other related expenses. The Sigma Alpha Mu Fire Relief Fund “allows people to donate cash, which is probably what the students need most,” says fraternity president Jake Magid (CAS’12), noting that the national chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu, as well as local chapters across the country, has also pledged support.

“I’ve never seen a community come together so fast,” Magid says. “People have been so incredibly selfless—everyone from the BU Police Department to the Dean of Students Office and the University’s off-campus liaison. We’ve had people literally offering the shirts off their backs.”

Joshua Goldenberg’s family asks that “everybody pray for Joshua and be optimistic that he makes a full recovery.” His father describes him as “a warm and funny guy” and says that “he has youth and health on his side” and that “hopefully, he will face a long but steady road to recovery.”

10 Comments
john o'rourke, editor, bu today
John O’Rourke

John O’Rourke can be reached at orourkej@bu.edu.

10 Comments on Student Injured in Blaze Remains Critical

  • RS on 01.25.2012 at 6:21 am

    This tragedy also serves as a good reminder to off-campus students to get renter’s insurance. That $28/month can translate into thousands of dollars of money to help replace computers, clothes etc.

  • Mo on 01.25.2012 at 8:52 am

    Was hoping to hear all were treated and released. Will certainly keep Joshua in my prayers for a speedy and full recovery. God bless.

  • Egan S. on 01.25.2012 at 10:07 am

    Josh is one of my best friends. No one deserves anything that has been thrown his way and to anyone else who lived in the house. He isnt just a warm and funny guy, he is one of the greatest guys I have ever met. He would do anything for anyone and i think he would expect it back in exchange. Everybody keep him in prayer.

  • Just Saying on 01.25.2012 at 10:27 am

    Hi Cook and Grant,

    How about putting some of those twenties on Boston University property so the students can find it, then students can donate money to Joshua Goldenberg who is clinging to life at Beth Isreal Deaconess Medical Center with severe head injuries.
    the money can help rebuild his life one day at a time.

  • concerned on 01.25.2012 at 10:37 am

    Praying for a full recovery for this young man and the other affected students. May the families stay strong and courageous knowing that we are praying for their kids.

  • KR on 01.25.2012 at 12:27 pm

    Joshua..all your Kinder Ring friends and family are praying for you. We love you.

  • looking to donate on 01.25.2012 at 1:28 pm

    Is there a link to the fund that the Hillel House set up? I can’t find it on the website.

  • jodi edelstein on 01.29.2012 at 8:19 pm

    I am praying for you and you are in my thoughts. You and your entire family..

  • Cantor Debbie Katchko-Gray on 01.29.2012 at 8:42 pm

    Praying for a speedy and complete recovery for Josh Goldenberg- a wonderful young man from an incredibly loving and supportive family. They are part of our community and we are all concerned and praying for his healing.
    SED79 Deborah Katchko

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