Careless smoking to blame in fatal Allston fire

A Boston University student was killed and 15 others hurt in a fire Sunday morning in Allston. Credit: Cheun Park
A Boston University student was killed and 15 others hurt in a fire Sunday morning in Allston. Credit: Cheun Park

A smoker’s careless disposal of a cigarette or something similar caused an Allston fire last weekend that killed a Boston University student in an overcrowded and illegal home, Boston Fire Department investigators have concluded. 

The Sunday fire at 87 Linden St. started in a stairway that had been blocked off on the first floor, but was open on the second floor, the fire department said Thursday. Investigators made the determination based on witness interviews, burn patterns, physical evidence and other factors.

BU senior Binland Lee, 22, died in the three-alarm blaze that broke out about 6:30 a.m. She was found dead in the attic by firefighters. The fire injured 15 people including six firefighters and two BU students.

The city’s Inspecial Services Department on Tuesday cited the owner of the building, Anna Belokurova, for having an illegal basement apartment in the home and for overcrowding. City and BU officials said 19 people were living in the two-family home, including nine BU students.

Bryan Glascock, the city’s ISD commissioner, told Metro Tuesday that the central stairway of the home, where fire officials determined the fire started, was blocked off and that a lot of debris and items had accumulated there.

While city officials said the home had not been inspected in about 20 years, partly because of an old ordinance that relied on the landlords to call the city for re-inspections, the owner’s lawyer said in a statement Wednesday that the building had passed inspection “many times” in the past 10 years.

“First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and BU community who were affected by this tragedy, and we would like to thank the firefighters who responded and worked swiftly to contain the fire,” Belokurova’s lawyer, Frank Fragomeni Jr., said in a statement. “The safety of Anna Belokurova’s tenants has always been her top priority. I have been informed that she had in place 2 leases for the 2 units, one for 7 people and another for 5 people and was proactive in safeguarding the property. The property has also passed inspection many times in the ten years she has owned it. We will continue to provide full cooperation to all agencies, authorities and investigators until the cause of this tragedy is determined.”

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Rock legend Neil Young files for divorce after…

The legendary Canadian rocker Neil Young has filed for divorce from his wife of 36 years.

Local

Cabbie tried to sexually assault passenger with kids…

NYPD is on the lookout for a taxi driver suspected of trying to sexually assault a female passenger while her three kids were in the car.

Local

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…

Gossip

Ariana Grande addresses Big Sean dating rumors

Now that Ariana Grande and Big Sean were caught on camera holding hands, she has something to say.

Entertainment

QUIZ: How many English words do you actually…

Are you as smart as you say you are? Are you a word nerd? Take this quick vocabulary test to find out if you're a true wordsmith. Good luck.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 12,…

If you've wondered whether Ali and Bethany knew each other, you got an answer tonight: Yes, and in a very tangled way. But many lingering…

Entertainment

Cymbals Eat Guitars Have Everything to 'LOSE'

At its most basic level, a rock band can be thought of as a family, a group of people selflessly devoted to a cause. When…

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Parenting

Lure your baby to sleep with Maroon 5…

These new renditions of "Moves Like Jagger" and "Payphone" are Maroon 5 like you've never heard them before.

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.

Travel

Most popular Labor Day weekend destinations

Priceline.com released its Top 20 destinations for the end of summer, including Labor Day weekend. If you’re heading to any of these spots, expect a…