BU Prof Remembers Student Killed in Fire

BU News Service

The Boston University student who died in Sunday morning’s fire has been identified as Binland Lee, a senior who was studying marine biology.

Lee was expected to graduate in September, according to an article in BU Today. She was a former vice president of the BU Marine Society Association and a 2009 graduate of Brooklyn Technical High School.

The fire in the residential building in Allston also injured nine residents–including two additional BU students–and six firefighters.

The building, located at 87 Linden Street, caught fire just after 6:30 a.m. The cause of the fire has not yet been identified.

“This tragedy comes close on the heels of the Boston Marathon losses, which have so affected our community,” BU President Robert Brown wrote in a statement to the BU community. “We are working to marshal counseling and support resources for all those touched by the fire while continuing to meet the needs of others who have been affected by the Marathon bombings.”

Michelle Johnson, who teaches multimedia journalism at the College of Communication, said Lee took her class last semester. Lee wasn’t a journalism major, but she took the course as an elective because she wanted to learn to produce multimedia science stories, Johnson said. “Binland was soft-spoken, but she always joined in class discussions,” Johnson said. “I was surprised to learn late in the semester that she wasn’t a journalism major because she was so engaged in what we were doing.” According to a Boston Globe article, Lee was a journalism minor.

Johnson remembers that Binland contributed to coverage of last year’s presidential election that the class did for an assignment. “I had purchased a new camera with built-in wifi to use for that assignment. I remember handing it to Binland and asking her to figure out how it worked. She found all sorts of cool features on that camera,” Johnson said. “She had a strong interest in photojournalism even though she was a marine biology major.”

Students were also required to produce a multimedia portfolio for the course. “We talked about what she would include in her portfolio since she wasn’t a journalism major. She included some of her research. She did a great job,” Johnson said.

Lee was reportedly trapped in the attic during the fire. WBZ News Radio reported that firefighters could not get into the attic due to heavy flames.

Those who were injured in the fire were treated at an area hospital. Their injuries are reportedly not life threatening.

Steven McDonald, a Boston Fire Department spokesman, told CBS Boston that nine Boston University students live in the nine-bedroom residence, but three were not present at the time of the fire.

On the Web
BU Today: CAS Student Killed in Fire Remembered as Playful, Passionate
BU Today: BU Students gather to Remember

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