Thesis Goes Up in Smoke as Kirkland Fire Sweeps Room
Cambridge Hook and Ladder Squad Extinguishes Blaze in Fight Lasting 45 Minutes
One of the worst Harvard fires in recent years raged in the Kirkland House room of Milton B. Josem '40 and Bernard Rivin '40 for 45 minutes at the noon hour yesterday, and was finally put out only by the combined efforts of a score of firemen and over 50 students.
Chief loss in the configuration was suffered by Rivin who lost his entire notes for an honors thesis, representing most of the studying he has done this fall. All his other books and papers, and even his bed went up in flames, while Josem came out of it with only a few belongings scorched.
According to a report from the Cambridge Fire Department, the blaze was probably caused by a lighted cigarette. Inflammable fresh paint on the walls made the flames spread almost instantaneously, once they had a good start.
The fire department arrived on the scene almost immediately, and did yeoman service amid the lusty cheers of a large crowd. Mattresses, lamps, books, clothing, and badly-charred chairs were thrown out of the window. A number of bystanders narrowly escaped serious injuries from the debris which poured out of the burning suite.