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Many of you awoke to the news of another raging multiple alarm fire in our neighborhood yesterday. Again, it was a home with more inhabitants than regulation allows, and again it tore through the home as dozens of shell-shocked tenants watched their decision to weigh cost efficiency over safety sink into embers.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, this neighborhood is getting too expensive for the people who live here to keep up with. They’re forced to find alternative living situations, which are not only uncomfortable and stressful, but we’ve seen many times in the last few years that they’re incredibly unsafe. The shock is wearing off, the reaction is palpably different for Sunday’s Mansfield St. rager than it was for the frat house a couple summers ago.

It sucks that we have to live like this. If you don’t want to pay $700 for your room, you’re very likely to be stuck living with a lot of people. Sometimes you luck out and get a decent deal, but there are not as many decent deals as there are people. So we make do, we share rooms, we live with people we don’t know.

Site of the April Linden Street fire, at which there were also overcrowding issues similar to yesterday’s fire on Mansfield. 

Regardless of the overcrowding issues, we can educate ourselves to avoid getting in these situations. As long as there have been cities, there has been overcrowding. There have been residential fire hazards as long as there have been residents.

Photo via

I want to share some basic fire safety tips in hopes that we can work together to stay safe.

You can go to the home fire safety page on the City of Boston website for year round safety tips, but here are some more things I think are important:

1. Keep your grills a safe distance from your house. I know the appeal of putting a hibachi on your porch, but it’s really dangerous. Many of us have wide sidewalks out front or back alleys. It may not be as awesome as a porch but it gets the job done.

2. Fireworks are illegal. Don’t buy them. If you are a red-blooded American and don’t care what the law says about your boomsticks, be sure to stay clear of houses and trees. (Pro Tip: the further you are from home, the less likely it will come back to bite you in the ass.)

3. I know that shooting Roman candles off with your hands is literally the coolest, straight-out-of-Hogwarts, most gangsta thing ever, but having hands is really gangsta too, so weigh your options. Hand. Fictional points from a fictional wizard school. I go with hand, personally.

4. Gas and cigarettes don’t go well together. Don’t smoke cigs/weed anywhere near gas grills or gas-powered mowers or whathaveyou.

5. When you’re done smoking, please PROPERLY DISPOSE OF YOUR SMOKING MATERIALS. Improper disposal has been the cause of many of these blazes. Get a million ashtrays. They have them at Urban Renewals for, like, two bucks a piece. Make sure cigs and joints are out. Don’t unpack bowls onto your carpet. Don’t smoke if you’re sleepy, chances are you’ll fall asleep and set the world on fire.

6. Finally, just don’t be an idiot.

I know it’s fun to be careless and drink all the beers and say ‘fuck it’ to fire and light fireworks and be badass, but in order to tell these stories to our grandkids we have to live past the summer.

Be aware of your surroundings and if you smell some smoky stuff find out where it’s coming from. If you’re lucky it will be your neighbors BBQing and you’ll make a new friend.



  1. citizen citizen says:

    ciommo doesn’t give a shit, the city doesn’t give a shit. they want to uphold their deals with the universities but what they don’t realize is that quality of life is drastically plummeting for 20-somethings and yet they still ask the question why we don’t stay in Boston….

    If you want us to stay in Boston why don’t you stop giving into greed and act like you’re fucking representatives of humans for once.

  2. Josh Josh says:

    We need the students to stand up to the landlords as well. Bring back rent control, require actual maintenance.

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