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Poster Fire Prompts Evacuation of Baker; Non-resident suspected in Saturday blaze

By Shawdee Eshghi
Staff Reporter

Cambridge firefighters and Campus Police were called to evacuate Baker House early Saturday morning after posters in a fifth-floor lounge were deliberately set on fire.

Campus Police are in the process of conducting an investigation into the case and questioning any possible suspects, said Chief of Police Anne P. Glavin.

The Baker desk received a call at around 1:45 a.m. on Saturday that an unknown person or people were setting fire to posters in the fifth west lounge, said Baker House President Catherine D. Conley '96. At this time, residents were alerted that there was an intruder in the building.

The desk then alerted Campus Police about the fire, Glavin said. When the fire department arrived shortly after, the fire had already been extinguished. It is not known who extinguished the fire.

Even though the fire had been extinguished, the firefighters evacuated Baker at around 2:15 a.m., Conley said. The fire department is required by law to evacuate a building if there has been a fire at any point. "I was kind of upset about the evacuation," Conley said, since it inconvenienced residents and attendees of a dormitory party that was just ending.

Residents and partygoers were allowed back into the building in less than 30 minutes.

While there were no witnesses present at the time of the fire, those who were present afterward were questioned by Campus Police, Glavin said.

"We are not sure who did it, but we have a pretty good idea that it was not a Baker resident," Conley said.