Cornell Student Killed in Collegetown Fire
[[image|id=327|width=300|align=right]][b]Updated: 5:15pm, May 7[/b]
The Ithaca Fire Department has confirmed that Cornell University student Brian Lo '11 has died after a fire destroyed a house at 107 Cook Street in Collegetown last night.
The fire department arrived on the scene just after midnight early Friday morning within two minutes of the reported blaze. The building itself is a 3-story building with 8 apartments and was occupied by 13 undergraduate and graduate students at Cornell University, many of which are members of the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity.
During a press conference Friday morning, the Ithaca Fire Department declared the cause of the fire accidental, started by unattended cooking on a communal first-floor kitchen stove. While attempting to deal with the fire, first responders searched all four floors of the building and began an interior attack on the blaze. As the situation intensified, firefighters were forced to abandon the interior attack and use external hoses. It took approximately 3 hours to control the fire.
It is unclear at this time whether the fire alarms in the house were functioning. The building was not equipped with an automatic sprinkler system.
At the press conference, Deputy Fire Chief Tom Parsons reported that the victim was located by rescuers in the rear first floor of the house but later "succumbed" while attempting to escape. An email statement from President Skorton to the Cornell community identified the victim as Brian Lo, a senior in the School of Hotel Administration. The full message is available below.
[b]Message from President David Skorton to the Cornell Community[/b]
Today we learned of the tragic loss of one of our senior students, Brian Lo, in the School of Hotel Administration. Brian died last night in an accidental fire at his residence at 107 Cook Street. On behalf of our entire Cornell community, I want to express our heartfelt condolences to Brian’s family and friends. The loss of such a promising young Cornellian affects us all.
I know that each one of us will find a personal moment to remember Brian and to keep those closest to him foremost in our thoughts in the days ahead.
David J. Skorton
[b]Message from Vice President of Student Academic Services Susan Murphy[/b]
It is with great sadness that I announce the tragic loss of one of our students shortly after midnight in a fire at a Collegetown residence, on 107 Cook Street.
The Ithaca fire department investigation team has issued a preliminary report and has determined the cause of death to be accidental. For understandable reasons, we will not release further information until the family has been informed. We are working with local authorities and we will continue to update the Cornell community as necessary.
A community support meeting will be held and information will be made available as we have final details. Today at noon a support meeting for those directly involved is being held at Anabel Taylor Hall.
Our hearts and minds go out to the friends and families of all of the residents of the house.
Susan H. Murphy
Vice President Student Academic Services
Support services are available to all members of the Cornell community. Students may consult by phone with counselors from Gannett Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) by calling 607-255-5155. Students may also speak with a peer counselor by calling EARS at 255-3277. Employees may call the Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) at 800-327-2255 (select option 1). An Ithaca-based CrisisLine is available at 272-1616. For additional resources, visit the Caring Community site [link to caringcommunity.cornell.edu/help.cfm]
The death cast a pall on an otherwise celebratory Slope Day at Cornell, the annual day of partying and concerts on Libe Slope.