“The fire alarm went off and I came downstairs and there was smoke coming out of the tutor’s room,” said Keia D. Cole ’03, a resident of Leverett’s C-entry. “It happened last year. I wasn’t afraid.”
Resident Tutor John W. Asker caused the fire and ensuing alarm, when he forgot to open the flue in his fireplace.
“[The resident tutor] was trying to do a study break. The whole idea was that it was getting cold outside so he thought he would make a fire,” Cole said.
Asker declined to comment for this story.
Lieutenant Barry Bennett of the Cambridge Fire Department said the fire posed little danger and was controlled almost immediately.
“There’s just a lot of smoke—it smelt heavily of incense,” he said.
“It happens four or five times a year at Harvard,” Bennett said. “It probably wasn’t going to spread, [and the resident tutor] didn’t try and put it out himself.”
Although C-entry residents were stranded outside for more than half an hour, their mood was generally upbeat.
“We opened the door and there was smoke. Now my clothes stink,” said Blaise P. Huguenin ’03.