Northeastern University Aids Its Students Who Were Affected by Hemenway St Fire

November 2, 2018
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On Saturday, Oct. 27, at 3:17 p.m. firefighters responded to a seven alarm fire at an apartment building at 104 Hemenway Street. Though the apartment building is not owned by any area schools, many Northeastern, Berklee, and Emerson College students called it home.

The fire was caused by an electrical problem, according to the Boston Fire Department Fire Investigation Unit, and over 100 residents were displaced.

“Thankfully no serious injuries and thankful for the coordinated team effort by all the agencies and universities who assisted,” Boston Fire Department wrote on Twitter.

According to an article from News @ Northeastern, among those treated for smoke inhalation were seven Northeastern students.

In the aftermath off the fire, many are stepping up to help out these residents, especially those who are students. News @ Northeastern reported that all of the Northeastern students who resided in the building were given the opportunity to live in the East Village residence hall on St. Botolph Street.

“We’re here to support our students,” Madeleine Estabrook, senior vice provost for student affairs at Northeastern, told News @ Northeastern. “We’re working tirelessly and with various agencies and various departments of the university to provide resources short term and get ready to have long-term answers for them as we work through this.”

The students have been provided bedding, towels, school supplies, and toiletries, as well as free meals at the Stetson East dining hall, the article stated. Free textbooks and course materials are also being provided at the campus bookstore.

The article also says that “academic advisers and representatives of the We Care program, which provides support to students during challenging times, will notify the professors, advisers, and co-op employers of the affected students to request that the provide flexibility for upcoming assignments and exams.”

“This was an extreme situation and we were pleased with the coordinated effort between the Boston Fire Department and numerous agencies,” BFD spokesperson Mark Sanders told News @ Northeastern. “NUPD played an instrumental role controlling the crowd as well as the traffic in unison with the Boston Police Department.”

WBZ reported that there were not enough sprinklers to control the fire, and Boston Fire commissioner Joseph Finn said that was likely what caused the fire to spread to the top floor of the building.

Residents have not been able to return to the building, but Northeastern police officers went with students to retrieve any of their belongings that survived the blaze.

“When a calamity happens—on campus or abroad—let us embrace the opportunity to offer one another strength and support,”said Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun said in an email, according to News @ Northeastern. “In doing so, we do more than care for those in need—we build a collective resilience that makes our community stronger.”

On Oct. 31, a Hemenway Fire Aid Drive was held at 150 Massachusetts Ave. to collect unused toiletries and household items for those affected by the fire.

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