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
National

Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter died Sunday from prostate cancer…

Former U.S. professional boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who spent 19 years in prison for murder and then was released after it was determined he did not get a fair trial,…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Television

'Orphan Black' recap: Episode 1, ‘Nature Under Constraint…

Welcome to your first Season 2 “Orphan Black” recap! Hopefully Tatiana Maslany can help Tatiana Maslany get through this, with the help of Tatiana Maslany,…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

MLB

Phillies notebook: Cole Hamels returns this week

The Phillies should receive a big boost when Cole Hamels returns during the Dodgers series.

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

Parenting

Is camp right for introverts?

We ask an expert for tips on sending your introverted child to camp

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.