Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Candle Causes Fire in McGill University Residence

McGill Tribune [McGill University, Montreal]
25 October 2016

by Janine Xu & Miguel Principe

[…] One commonly heard story among students who lived in Rez is that of a first year girl who forgets to blow out a candle in her room before leaving. The candle lights her curtains on fire, setting off the sprinklers and flooding three floors, after which she supposedly drops out of McGill, never to be seen again.

“The way I heard it was from my floor fellow,” said Alex Levesque, U3 Science and a floor fellow at New Rez. “[As the story goes], she had a single room, and her boyfriend would come over a lot. One time, […] they decided to light a candle to set the mood, and [it lit up] the curtain, which instantly set the sprinklers off.”

It’s a story oft-repeated, and for good measure, too: According to Levesque, first-years frequently tend to set off the sprinklers. With no real fire, sprinkler systems can cause extensive damage to property.

“[Supposedly] it soaked through her room, and probably two or three floors,” Levesque said. “That caused […] $200,000 in [damages], but they said she did drop out […] partially because of the money, but [also] because people were rude to her after that.”

This story is alarming, indeed. The cautionary tale is used by all floor fellows, but actual details differ from residence to residence, raising questions about its validity. […]