Smoking litter caused Random roof deck fire

“Improper disposal of smoking material” was the cause of the Random Hall fire this summer, wrote Jared and Laurie Berezin, Random Hall heads of house, in an email to the dorm’s social list. The heads of house suggested implementing a no-smoking policy on the roof, a policy already in place throughout the dorm.

In an email to The Tech, the Berezins explained that they had to request this information: they emailed Dennis Collins, the Director of Capital Renewal and Construction asking to check in with the Cambridge Fire Department. Apparently, Collins had seen many cigarette butts the night of the fire when taken up by the Fire Department. It is not clear why it took until now for this to be communicated back to the residents.

The Berezins also expressed enthusiasm that their announcement sparked productive discussions within the community. In replies to the original email, residents expressed concerns that blame was being placed on current residents. It was pointed out that summer residents are often not permanent residents, and also smoked more. Others also pointed out that construction workers, who spent their days on the roof deck, were also seen smoking.