Update I: Fire at McMaster University’s Brandon Hall

McMaster University will be holding a information session for parents and students at 7pm tonight.

I will be attending.

For those parents and students that cannot attend the session, McMaster will be streaming the session live over the Internet. More information and streaming link here.

During the past 48 hours, it has been learned that the fire was an arson and that the damage to the building is extensive.

Hamilton Police are investigating the arson with the support of McMaster’s Security Service. They are reviewing security camera footage in the hope of finding a suspect.

Damage to the building means the 580 students who live in the building will be displaced for a long period of time. Finding houisng for 580 students will pose a significant challenge for the university. They have been working on a plan and will be releasing it during the parent’s meeting tonight.

McMaster’s response to the crisis has been commendable thus far. I’ve spoke with my sources on campus and some have expressed frustration with a few decisions by the university. I don’t see how McMaster University could have done better in the circumstances.

A lot of questions have been swirling regarding the emergency shelter in a campus gym. The university requested the assistance of the Red Cross in operating the shelter. I believe this was a wise decision. The Red Cross knows how to operate an emergency shelter and has the experienced staff to support displaced individuals.

There are complaints that a housing plan has not been released. I don’t believe anyone can put together living arrangements for such a large number of people within minutes.

I will have my smartphone on me during the meeting, feel free to contact me by email: [email protected]