UPDATE: Purdue University student killed in off-campus fire identified
Fatality is the first one of the 2013-2014 academic year
Updated 11.17.13 2:00 p.m. Scott Notary, 22, a Purdue University student from Lafayette, Indiana, was killed in an off-campus fire early this morning. According to West Lafayette Fire Chief Tim Heath, the call came in at 2:46 a.m. and there was heavy smoke upon arrival. The building was a 2-1/2 residential building, close to the Purdue campus in an area that is heavily occupied by students. The victim was found in a bedroom on the second floor and Purdue University Public Information Director Liz Evans confirmed that the victim was a Purdue University student, but his identify is being withheld until the family can be notified. The fire is under investigation at this time.
This is the first fatal fire of the 2013-2014 academic year. Since 2000, there have been 163 campus-related fatalities identified by Campus Firewatch, with 87% of them occurring off-campus, where approximately 2/3 of the students across the nation live. Common factors in a number of these fatal fires include:
- Lack of automatic fire sprinklers
- Missing or disabled smoke alarms
- Careless disposal of smoking materials
- Impaired judgment from alcohol consumption
- Upholstered furniture on porches or decks
More information on campus fire safety is available from Campus Firewatch, including a Campus Firewatch Information Sheet, a map showing the locations and details of campus-related fires since 2000 as well as educational material, including the video documentary 9 Fires.
SUNY Plattsburgh student critically injured in off-campus fire
Updated 09.20.13 4:47 p.m. A SUNY Plattsburgh student was critically injured in an off-campus fire that broke out early this morning. According to media reports and the university, the student was airlifted to a burn unit and is in critical condition. More information will be provided here and on Facebook and Twitter @campusfirewatch.
- Four out of five campus-related fire deaths happen off-campus where most students live
- Campus Firewatch Information Sheet
- At-a-Glance Resource Page
Campus Firewatch to be involved in two major campus fire safety projects
Projects are result of grants awarded through the DHS Fire Prevention and Safety Grant program
Campus Firewatch will have a major role in two significant grant projects awarded under the Department of Homeland Security Fire Prevention and Safety grant program. Both projects will be focusing on improving fire safety education and awareness on our nation’s campuses.
A grant was awarded to the Michael H. Minger Foundation to organize a series of Campus Fire Safety Community Service projects in several communities across the nation. These projects will focus on bringing fire departments and college students to work together on providing fire safety education and outreach to their communities through home fire safety visits. By having the students actively involved with the fire department they will learn, first hand, about fire safety while, at the same time, giving back to the community.
The Minger Foundation was first awarded a grant in 2009 that launched the National Community Service initiative. Under this current grant, the project will be expanded to include communities in several states and the efforts will focus on high-risk demographics that include off-campus, low income, disabled or elderly housing, all of which statistics have shown to be in greater danger from residential fires. Campus Firewatch will be closely involved in the development and coordination of this project.
A grant was also awarded to the Clery Center for Security On Campus to develop a series of videos called “Inside of.” Each one will focus on being inside of a different part of a fictional fire, starting with a live fire inside of a student’s room, the student then being rescued by the fire department, transported to an emergency department, flown in a medical helicopter to a burn unit for treatment where, unfortunately, the student dies. This series will be a significant update to the documentary “Graduation: Fatally Denied” produced by Campus Firewatch in 2001.
What will make this video series incredibly impactful is that it will be shot from the perspective of the victim-everything will be seen through the eyes of the student. This will create a very powerful series that, coupled with a suite of online educational material, will provide schools with an invaluable tool to raise awareness about the importance of fire safety among their students.
The project will be a collaborative effort led by the Clery Center in partnership with Campus Firewatch, the Michael H. Minger Foundation, Philadelphia Fire Department, Rowan University and The University of Pennsylvania. The video production will be done by a student film class at Rowan University which will provide an invaluable student-perspective to the material.
For more information on the Campus Fire Safety Community Service project, contact the Michael H. Minger Foundation President Gail Minger at 850-621-5161 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the “Inside of” video series, contact Abigail Boyer at the Clery Center for Security On Campus at 484-580-8754 or email@example.com.
Boston University student killed in off-campus fire
Fire occurred across the street from the fire in 2012 that injured a number of BU students, one critically.
UPDATED 4/28/13 2:11 p.m.: Victim has been identified and additional information on the fire provided based on interviews and a site visit by Campus Firewatch.
Belchertown MA (April 28, 2013) – A fire broke out at 87 Linden Street, Boston, this morning and killed one Boston University student, according to BU officials. Binland Lee, a senior study marine biology, was scheduled to graduate in September. She was a former vice president of the BU Marine Program and a 2009 graduate of the Brooklyn Technical High School in Brooklyn, New York.
Fifteen people were injured, including 2 BU students and six fire fighters. This fire occurred across the street from the 2012 fire (84 Linden Street) where BU students were forced to jump from all three stories and several were injured, including one critically. The 2012 fire was featured in the campus fire safety documentary 9 Fires which is available online and can also be seen above.
According to the Boston Fire Department, there was heavy smoke showing from the front side, second floor, of the building and heavy fire extending from the second floor in the rear. There were victims on the porch roof on the first floor and other hanging out of windows which fire fighters rescued by placing ladders on the windows.
Fire fighters attempted to access the fire by making entry through the front door and were confronted by the fact that there was no interior stairway to the second floor. Fire fighters had to go outside, to the rear of the building and extend lines up an exterior wooden stairway to the second floor. There was no exterior access to the third floor, only an interior stairwell.
Campus Firewatch visited the fire scene, gathering information and photographs. In looking at several of the buildings on this street, only one was seen that did have an exterior stairway extending to the third floor.
This fire is similar to one that occurred on January 1, 2013, in Cincinnati, Ohio. A fire broke out on the second floor and blocked the only means of egress for the two students living on the third floor, who died in the fire. Given the similarities between the Cincinnati fire and both the 2012 and yesterday’s Linden Street fires, egress is a significant concern in off-campus housing.
Across the nation, this is the seventh campus-related fire death for the 2012-2013 academic year, all of them in off-campus housing. Since 2000, 162 people have died in campus-related fires, with 86% of them occurring in off-campus housing. This is the third fatal fire involving BU students since 2007. The others include:
- 2/24/07 21 Aberdeen Street, two students were killed in an off-campus apartment during a power failure. The cause of the fire was an unattended candle.
- 3/16/07 49 St. Mary’s Street, a student visiting two BU students was killed in a fire that was caused by a grill.
The following are some resources that include information from Campus Firewatch as well as information on this tragedy from Boston media and Boston University.
- BFD Captain’s account of fire attack
- BU Today
- BU Daily Press (student newspaper)
- Campus Firewatch Fire Information Sheet
- Campus Firewatch Current Fire Information Page that includes a complete listing of fatal campus-related fires identified by Campus Firewatch in spreadsheet, compilation and map form and a compilation of all campus-related fires.
- 9 Fires documentary (featuring the 2012 off-campus fire at 84 Linden Street)
- Ed Comeau, publisher of Campus Firewatch, can be reached at 918-926-6328 (voice, cell, text) or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Campus Fire Safety Resources from Campus Firewatch
There are a number of campus fire safety education resources that are freely available.
Recent Fatal Campus-Related Fires
- Purdue University/West Lafayette, IN A student was killed in an off-campus house fire. More details to follow.
- Boston University/Boston, MA A student was killed in an off-campus fire that occurred across the street from the 2012 fire that injured a number of BU students, one critically.
- University of Massachusetts/Amherst, MA A student was killed on January 18 in an off-campus apartment fire.
- University of Cincinnati/Cincinnati, OH Ellen Garner died on January 14 andUni Chad Kohls died on January 7 from an off-campus fire that had broken out on New Year’s Day.
- St. Cloud State University/St. Cloud, MN Kyle Kopischke was killed in an off-campus apartment fire. The fire started in the kitchen area and is believed to be accidental.
- University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, WI Two students were killed and two more injured in an off-campus apartment fire.
- University of Memphis/Memphis, TN Paul Horbelt, a sophomore, was killed in an off-campus apartment fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation at this time.
- Southern Illinois University Edwardsville/Edwardsville, Illinois A fire in an off-campus house has killed two students. The students have been identified as Lauren D. Petersen, age 19, of Timberwood Drive, Bethalto, Illinois and Lacy V. Siddall, age 21, Briarwood Drive, Bethalto, Illinois. The preliminary investigation points towards a power strip and laptop as the possible cause of the fire. Initial reports are that the smoke alarm did not have a working battery in it.
- Marist College/Poughkeepsie, NY On Saturday, January 21, three students were killed in an off-campus house at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.