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Investigators: Smoker Caused Fatal Allston Fire

This article is more than 7 years old.
Firefighters responded to a multiple-alarm fire in Allston on Sunday. One person died and 15 were injured. (Boston Fire Department)
Firefighters responded to a multiple-alarm fire in Allston on Sunday. One person died and 15 were injured. (Boston Fire Department)

Fire investigators said "careless disposal of smoking material" was to blame for a fire that killed a Boston University student in Allston on Sunday.

The Boston Fire Department released a statement Thursday afternoon which said the fire at 87 Linden St. began in a stairwell.

"Specifically, it started in the area of an interior staircase that was permanently blocked off on the first floor but was an open space to those using the stairs to the second floor from the rear of the house," the statement read.

Binland Lee, a 22-year-old BU senior from Brooklyn, N.Y., died after being trapped in her third-floor bedroom by the flames, which started around 6:30 a.m. Sunday.

Fifteen people, including six firefighters, were also hurt, none with life-threatening injuries.

The building's landlord, Anna Belokurova, was cited Tuesday by the city's Inspectional Services Department for allegedly operating an illegal rooming house. Nineteen people lived in the two-family home.

The Boston Fire Investigation Unit used physical evidence, including burn patterns and witness interviews in determining the fire's cause, according to the statement.

Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley said he's appointed Assistant DA Dan Bradley to oversee the investigation. Bradley once worked as the office's lead arson prosecutor.

"“We investigate every unattended death to determine whether charges are warranted against any person in any capacity,” Conley said in a statement. “This case is no exception. We're not prejudging the case and the probe is in its very early stages. We’ll follow the evidence wherever it leads, and we’ll apply the law fairly to the facts before we make a charging decision.”

This program aired on May 2, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

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