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Boston’s JFK library fire caused by careless smoker, not terrorists

| April 19, 2013

The fire at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Boston Monday was caused by the careless disposal of smoking materials, city fire officials said.

Boston officials had initially feared that the fire at the library might have been connected to the bombings at the Boston Marathon, because it was ­reported just six minutes after the explosions went off in Copley Square, according to The Boston Globe.

“In light of what had just happened at the finish line — and the library is of course a high-profile place in Boston — it caused a lot of speculation,” Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said. “It took a while to get to the facts.”

The fire broke out in an HVAC system in a section of the complex that opened in 2011 and houses offices, a classroom, and some archival material, he said Monday. The building was evacuated. No injuries were reported.

Careless smokers playing with fire

| April 17, 2013

It could be hard to believe but careless smokers ended up causing more than 2,410 fire accidents and several crores-worth of property loss in the last seven years in the Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.

A study by A.P. Fire Services Department revealed careless smoking as one of the main causes for the increasing incidence of fire accidents — the other contributing factors being electrical short-circuit, gas leakage, fire crackers and chemical reaction, among others, according to a story published in The Hindu.

According to officials, cigarette butts that were not properly put off before being chucked, sparked fire in several incidents, one such case being the fire mishap that occurred at the multi-storeyed Babu Khan Estate in Basheerbagh a few days ago.

Careless smoking led to 461 fire accidents in the year 2012, 392 in 2011 and 298 in 2010. Perturbed over the increasing mishaps due to casual smokers, the fire department has suggested that owners of the commercial buildings develop separate smoking zones on their premises to reduce such mishaps, Assistant District Fire Officer K. Vijay Kumar said.

Occupants should not dump cartons, waste papers and other flammable substances either in balconies or cellars, he advised. The department usually establishes the exact reasons for the mishap only after examining the premises and assessing the intensity of the blaze, Kumar added.