Fire at COM Forces Evacuation
Decision pending on when building will reopen
Updated, 1 p.m. Friday, March 25: COM is closed for the day. No decision has been made as yet on whether it will reopen for classes Monday. A graduate information session scheduled to be held at COM on Saturday, March 26, has been relocated to the College of Arts & Sciences, Room 116, from noon to 2 p.m. Check on BU Today for further updates.
Boston firefighters extinguished a fire in a recording studio Friday morning at the student-run WTBU radio station at the College of Communication. The studio is on third floor of the building at 640 Commonwealth Ave. Morse Auditorium is open as a shelter for faculty and students.
Peter Fiedler (COM’77), vice president for administrative services, says three students and two BU Police Department officers have been transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for treatment of smoke inhalation. A firefighter also was brought there after his face was injured while moving a grate. None of the injuries is life-threatening, the Boston Fire Department reports.
The three-alarm fire, believed to have been caused by an equipment malfunction, summoned at least 15 police, fire, and ambulance vehicles to the school, which sustained heavy water damage. The fire department reported high gas levels in the heavily insulated studio, which has ceased broadcasting until further notice.
BU Today spoke to Jenna Perlman (COM’18, CAS’18), a reporter for television station BUTV, this morning outside the building as onlookers milled about. She said her morning show was preparing go on air when a fellow student announced, “Everyone get out—it’s a fire.”
“We originally thought that it was an electric fire from one of the lights in our studio, but it turned out to be a fire from inside WTBU,” she said. Her show, Good Morning BU, goes live at 10 a.m. “Of course, we’re not going live” today, Perlman added.
The fire department estimates the building damage at $500,000. BU Chief of Police Thomas Robbins, who was on the scene, said the building had been evacuated. Robbins said several students were covered with soot when they left the building.
Students are advised to stay clear of the area.
MBTA B Line trolley service had been suspended from Kenmore Square to Packard’s Corner, but has now been restored.
Individual counseling support for students, faculty, and staff, on campus or abroad, can be arranged at any time through the following resources:
- Marsh Chapel chaplains can be reached at 617-353-3560.
- Behavioral Medicine providers at Student Health Services can be reached at 617-353-3569.
- Sexual Assault Response & Prevention Center (SARP) counselors can be reached at 617-353-SARP (7277).
- Counseling is also available for faculty and staff through the Faculty & Staff Assistance Office, 617-353-5381.