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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Fires occur in Village kitchen

Published: September 21, 2007
Section: News

Residents of the Village Quad were evacuated from their building last Thursday after a fire occurred in a common kitchen area. The fire, which occurred in Village 2A, was caused when a student left a plastic cutting board on a lit stove.

The incident occurred at approximately 2 p.m. on Sept. 13, when residents claimed that they saw and smelled smoke and a plastic scent from one of the kitchens. As the students stood outside, emergency vehicles were called to the scene. After approximately half an hour, the fire alarms were deactivated, and students were allowed back into the building.

Village resident Abraham Schneider 09 was at the scene and saw the kitchen as he made his way out of the building. I saw smoke and flames coming from the kitchen, he said. I knew that this was not a drill. Schneider was not the only one exiting the area, as dozens of students were evacuated last Thursday.

The Community Advisor (CA) of the floor, Christina Lu 08, was off-campus during the time of the incident. In an e-mail she sent to her floor, she stated, I had just recently come back from NYC and to my dismay, there is a large gaping hole in the kitchen where the stove should be.

Director of Public Safety Ed Callahan said that in terms of the efficiency of the emergency response teams, it seemed like everything worked like it was supposed to. He also went on to state that community members would be prepared if any type of fire situation occurs. In the future, explained Callahan, we are going to do fire drills to get people acclimated to emergency procedures.

On Monday, Sept. 18, the same kitchen was again covered in smoke, as someone had left the oven on while something was brining inside. Lu sent a second e-mail to her floor, stating I just got back to the dorm and found the entire kitchen covered in smoke. Apparently someone left the oven on and whatever residue of food was in there had burned. She went on to explain to her residents that they should take more care of the appliances.

The Village Quad has nine kitchens overall and also has a special meal plan, designed to favor the use of community cooking facilities. The entire stove of the village 2A kitchen has since been removed, but residents report that the Village 2A kitchen will receive a new stove in the near future.