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Sophomore Critically Injured in Random Hall Fire

Seven CPs Responding to Blaze also Injured

By Mike Hall


A fire struck the fourth floor of Random Hall last night, injuring one student and seven Campus Police officers.

The fire originated in the room of Elizabeth H. Shin ’02, a biology major, at 9:15 p.m. Shin was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with third-degree burns on 65 percent of her body and is listed in critical critical condition. Shin’s parents were notified soon after the incident.

Campus Police arrived on the scene shortly after the blaze started. Officer Sean C. Munnelly was credited by the MIT News Office for pulling Shin out of the burning room. After saving Shin, Campus Police then extinguished the fire before the Cambridge Fire Department arrived, according to Cambridge Fire communications supervisor Frederick C. Hart.

Munnelly was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center with smoke inhalation injuries, along with Officers Kevin P. Kirchdorfer and Donald P. Miller. Officers John W. Carr, Clarence A. Henniger, Ronald B. Ward, and Joseph S. West also suffered from smoke inhalation and were taken to MGH. All officers were listed in good condition.

According to the Boston Herald, Deputy Chief Thomas Stack of the Cambridge Fire Department said the main burn area was in the center of Shin’s room. The nature of the fire is currently under investigation by the Cambridge Fire Department and the Massachusetts State Police.

Random Hall President Matthew S. Cain ’02 said that over 90 residents were evacuated at about 9:20 p.m. and were re-admitted to the dormitory one hour later.

The fourth floor of the 282 Massachusetts Avenue section of Random was closed off indefinitely pending further investigation of the fire’s cause and repairs from smoke damage, said MIT spokesman Kenneth D. Campbell. Approximately twelve students reside in the closed section and will be housed temporarily in lounges and other rooms at Random.

Campbell added that all other floors in the 282 Massachusetts Avenue section and all floors in the 290 Massachusetts Avenue section were unaffected by the fire and remain open.

Rima Arnaout contributed to the reporting of this story.