Seven of the eight Boston University undergrads living in apartments set up in an Allston home were hospitalized after a fire broke out in the early morning hours yesterday. One of the male students who escaped the inferno was listed in serious condition following the ordeal.
Some of the students were forced to jump from upper-story windows, dressed in nothing but pajamas onto the snow-covered ground to save themselves from the fire.
Neighbors noted that the home was completely engulfed by the flames, with fire shooting out of windows and the roof of the structure.
Officials have estimated the damage to be around $500,000, but the investigation is ongoing. One fire official stated that he believes the home will have to be torn down, as it sustained too much damage for repair.
The wood-frame Victorian home is was assessed by the city as a single family dwelling, but the investigation uncovered that the students had been living in apartments set up in the basement, first and second floors and the attic.
No word yet whether the owner of the property will face fines for operating what could be construed as a rooming house.
If you remember our December newsletter, we touched upon the topic of rooming houses or lodging houses. According to the Massachusetts Appeals Court, whenever a group of four or more unrelated people live together in an apartment, the landlord is operating an illegal lodging house in violation of state law. This is regardless of the number of bedrooms in the apartment or the size of the dwelling.
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