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 email@example.com 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
- 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.