At 8:46 p.m. on Monday the Rochester Fire Department was called to a fire at the Interfaith Chapel on the River Campus.

According to investigative reports, a portable electric oven caught fire after one of the Sterno cans placed inside the oven caught fire.

“Apparently there were about 20 cans of Sterno put inside a portable oven for cleaning purposes,” UR Security Investigator Dan Lafferty said. “It was a large size oven, almost the size of a refrigerator, and the Sterno was placed in shelves inside of this unit. The Sterno ignited and caused the oven to catch on fire.”

The RFD investigation corroborates UR’s investigation. “They were using too many Sterno cans,” RFD Fire Investigator Lieutenant Borrino said. “There were 20 Sterno cans being used and it melted the rubber gasket in the oven which caused a heavy smoke condition in the structure.”

According to UR Chaplain Father Brian Cool the Sterno cans were put in the oven to heat the oven to a high temperature.

“They were trying to kosher the ovens but they put too many Sterno’s in to do it.” Cool said. “It’s a warming oven, not a cooking oven and they needed to get it to a certain temperature. They should have used 4 Sterno’s, instead they used 20.”

After the fire broke out Cool put it out with a water extinguisher and called campus .

“There was a lot of smoke, almost 2 feet, and the firemen came and blew the smoke out,” Cool said.

After the smoke was cleared RFD gave permission to re-enter the building.

“We were notified, the building was evacuated,” Lafferty said. “The all-clear was given by the fire department and the building was able to be used for evening use. There was no reported damage that I am aware of.”Smith joins Hall of FameSenior Lecturer in English Curt Smith has been named the newest member of the Steering Committee of the National Radio Hall of Fame. In addition, Smith has been named to the National Baseball Hall of Fame announcer selection committee and has begun a broadcast column for Major League Baseball.

“Curt Smith is one of the most recognized sports experts in America,” Radio Hall of Fame president Bruce DuMont said. “His insights into sportscasting will make our decisions wiser.”

Smith is a former speechwriter to President George H. W. Bush and a former senior editor for the Saturday Evening Post.

The Radio Hall of Fame steering committee is composed of many people who are interested in preserving radio history, including executives, academicians and journalists working in the field.

Smith’s work in radio includes his current show on National Public Radio station WXXI, “Perspectives.” He is also the author of 11 books including “Voices of Summer” and “The Storytellers.”

In the past, Smith has written for the Boston Globe, Newsweek, New York Times, Reader’s Digest, Sports Illustrated and the Washington Post.

Recently, the Associated Press and the New York State Broadcasters Association rated his NPR commentary as the “Best In New York State.”

Smith graduated from the State University of New York at Geneseo in 1973, and has been named among the “100 Outstanding Alumni” of the SUNY system.

Smith teaches a course in the English department entitled “Presidential Rhetoric” in the fall. Reporting by Bonnie Jarrett and Matt Majarian.



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