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CityStep Performance Delayed By Fire Alarm

By Jason T. Benowitz

A CityStep performance in Cambridge Rindge and Latin School was delayed for about one hour on Saturday because of a fire warning, forcing student dancers and a large audience outside until the building was deemed safe.

The fire was caused by a "blown fuse in a nearby building," according to Sharmila Sohoni '98, CityStep's private- and corporate-donations producer.

Children were performing on stage when the group was alerted to the danger.

"The fire alarm went off during the first dance of the performance," said Stephanie Firos '98, one of CityStep's executive directors.

The performance was delayed and the approximately 130 young performers were forced to wait outside because of the alarm.

"We had to evacuate the building until the fire department came and cleared it," Sohoni said.

The group, and an audience of about 600 people, spent approximately half an hour waiting outside in a light drizzle, according to Firos.

Sohoni said the disruption did not disturb the performers, who are fifth- and sixth-graders from Cambridge public schools.

"They were great," she said. "They weren't shaken by the delay at all."

Jamie G. Lien '97, one of the show's producers, also said the dancers handled themselves well.

"The kids were full of energy...fun and quirky," she said. "They were really a pleasure to work with."

Most of the spectators returned to watch the performance, Firos said.

"They were very supportive," she said.

The audience demonstrated its support vocally, according to Rachel B. Jimenez '00, one of the show's executive producer.

"The audience cheered for the kids when we told them we were going to come back in," she said.

Although the show did not begin until 8:30 p.m.--one hour later than its scheduled opening time--the performance was not affected.

"The show went off fine," Lien said.

But some CityStep volunteers were a little worried by the interruption.

"Obviously I'm concerned because it's my group of kids," Firos said. "I'm responsibile."

She said that the group was well-prepared for emergencies, though. "We had gone over what we would do in case of fire," she said.

Lien said that the procedures were followed and that no one's safety was in danger.

"We got everyone out of the building," she said.

CityStep, which is held annually, held four shows during the weekend

"The audience cheered for the kids when we told them we were going to come back in," she said.

Although the show did not begin until 8:30 p.m.--one hour later than its scheduled opening time--the performance was not affected.

"The show went off fine," Lien said.

But some CityStep volunteers were a little worried by the interruption.

"Obviously I'm concerned because it's my group of kids," Firos said. "I'm responsibile."

She said that the group was well-prepared for emergencies, though. "We had gone over what we would do in case of fire," she said.

Lien said that the procedures were followed and that no one's safety was in danger.

"We got everyone out of the building," she said.

CityStep, which is held annually, held four shows during the weekend

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