Push to review safety of student housing after fire
BOSTON (WHDH) -- The Linden Street home remains intact after a massive fire killed a Boston University student and injured 15 other people early Sunday morning.
“It’s really scary,” said Erica Ross, who lived in the top unit of the home.
Ross wasn’t home when flames tore through the building, but five of her six roommates were. One of her roommates, Binland Lee, died in the fire. Lee was a senior at Boston University studying marine biology.
“She was really nice and had a lot of friends, in a lot of different friends groups and she touched a lot of people. She was really smart,” said Ross.
Boston police said 18 people were inside the home at the time, 15 were hurt, including six firefighters.
Emergency crews received a call to the Allston home before 7 a.m. Sunday.
“When one of the first firefighters arrived there was one person who jumped from one of the floors to the ground,” said Steve MacDonald of the Boston fire department.
“There are two people on the second floor roof being rescued by the firefighters with the ladders. One of them looked a little traumatized,” said a witness.
The scene was chaotic, according to onlookers.
“Because so many people lived in the building and so many went to the hospital, we were not made aware of anyone missing,” MacDonald. “At some point we were informed by residents they couldn’t find one person.”
Now some city leaders are calling for a review of student safety housing. They want to make sure that overcrowding in the home wasn’t an issue.
“It certainly seems on the face of it that 18 people were too many people to be living in this home,” said MacDonald.
“It’s so expensive, the cost of living and the apartments aren’t that great to begin with so a lot of people are bunking up together, trying to save money on cost and everything. It’s common and it’s unfortunate,” said Adam Willis, a BU graduate student.
The inspectional services reports the Newton women who owns the apartment has been cited more than a dozen times in the past few years for overfilled trash barrels and illegal dumping.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.