City May Pursue Arson Charges Against Lampoon President

The Cambridge Fire Department (CFD) may soon file arson charges against the president of the Harvard Lampoon, the consequence of a small fire at the organization's Bow Street castle last week, CFD officials confirmed yesterday.

Stephen C. Hely '02, has been accused by CFD investigators of intentionally setting a newspaper on fire during a May 16 party--the latest in a series of fire and police-related incidents involving the Lampoon that have angered Cambridge city officials.

In addition to the possible arson charge, the organization could face fines and even eviction due to numerous fire code violations, city officials said yesterday.


Investigators said that last Tuesday morning, at 3:18 a.m., a lit newspaper in the castle set off fire alarms. Moments later, a Lampoon member called 911 and told an operator that firefighters didn't need to respond--the fire had been extinguished.

But the CFD responded anyway.

When firefighters arrived, they found the burnt newspaper, and requested that a department investigator come to the scene.

CFD investigators said they believed Hely started the fire.

"It does not appear it was his intent to do serious damage," said Deputy Chief Gerald Reardon, a department spokesperson.

Recommended Articles