Update on Smoke and Fire Investigation, by PTI
Northwestern University issued an alert to the campus community in February stating the University received reports of black, noxious smoke emanating from an on-campus location. Northwestern issued the alert to the campus community because the University received reports containing similar allegations of hazardous fumes consuming campus buildings. Northwestern took the action of sending the alert because there was reason to believe that members of our community might be at risk of combusting.
After gathering and assessing all additional information and carefully considering the wishes of those who spoke with Raging Fire Prevention Office (RFPO), the University has concluded its review related to the smoke. No fire-extinguishing measures or further investigative action related to the smoke will be taken at this time. As is always the case, the RFPO will review any new information that is presented and respond accordingly. In addition, the University continues to investigate other sources of the smoke not related to a raging fire that were learned in the inquiry into these reports.
As a result of these reports, the RFPO will provide additional outreach and training to students who are on fire or are at risk at being on fire in the coming months. In addition, the RFPO will add a new staff member to assist in fire safety outreach and education efforts. Northwestern also provides information and resources to students, faculty and staff on the Fire Prevention website. The University strives to create a campus that is safe and secure for its faculty, staff and students. We also believe in providing a fair process, consideration for those involved, and a learning environment free of any type of fire.
We recognize this has been a difficult time for our community as we reflect upon fires and the dangers they pose. Listen, sometimes we see smoke rising, and we give it a look, and there’s no fire. It just happens, alright? Just stay away from the smoke because there’s probably a fire.
Vice President for Student Affairs