Fire forces evacuation of Heller School buildings

Classes resume quickly after Waltham Fire Department extinguishes blaze

A small fire broke out in a shaft between the old and new wings of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at about 10 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 18.

An estimated 300 to 400 students, faculty and staff in the building at the time were evacuated within one minute, and there were no injuries. The fire was quickly extinguished by the Waltham Fire Department. The cause is undetermined and is under investigation by the fire department.

The Heller buildings reopened at 12:30 p.m. and afternoon classes are going ahead.

Some areas of the buildings were not immediately accessible. These areas were marked by signs and yellow tape. Java City was closed for the day, the elevator was out of service for the day and there was no direct access from Heller-Brown into the Schneider building. It was necessary to go outside to pass from one building to the other.

Workers will be repairing glass, carpeting and ceiling where the Schneider building meets the Heller-Brown building. Dean Lisa Lynch said the school hoped to restore passable access between the buildings by Tuesday, Oct. 19.

Power was working throughout the buildings; the dean asked that any outages be reported to Linda Purrini ext 6-3930 or If there is a problem after 5 p.m., call 6-5000.

Dean Lynch thanked everyone affected “for the quick and calm way you all exited the building this morning. The Waltham fire chief made a point of complementing us on how rapidly the building was cleared and how people moved well away from the building.”

Categories: General

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