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Carelessness Behind Student Center Fire

Thomas R. Karlo--The Tech
Fire fighters respons to a fire in the basement of the Student Center Saturday night.

By Ramy A. Arnaout
Executive Editor

Carelessness was the cause of a small fire in the Student Center basement late Saturday night, said Campus Police Chief Anne P. Glavin. The building's alarm went off at around 10:11 p.m., and the building remained closed for over four hours.

"Cambridge fire department determined that [the fire] was accidental, and that it involved improper disposal of a cigarette," Glavin said. A cigarette butt had apparently been tossed into a trash can in the northeast corner of the basement.

She expressed concern that the nature of the fire indicates that someone had broken the Institute's smoking policy, which restricts people from smoking in any MIT building ["Smoking Policy Revised," Sept. 9, 1994].

"People should adhere to the no smoking policy," Glavin said. "This just shows you all the dangers." She noted that while cigarette-related fires have occurred in the past in the Student Center, none have taken place in the past year.