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Letter regarding supporting the community after East Cambridge fire

The following email was sent yesterday to the MIT community by Provost Martin A. Schmidt, Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart, and Executive Vice President and Treasurer Israel Ruiz.

To the members of the MIT community,

We are writing to let you know how you can support our local community in the wake of a devastating fire.

You have likely heard news of yesterday's ten-alarm fire in Cambridge which required assistance from 140 firefighters from nearly 20 communities. The fire occurred on Berkshire and York Streets in East Cambridge where eight buildings were damaged, some catastrophically. Miraculously, only minor injuries have been reported. At least 60 people have been displaced and the American Red Cross and the City of Cambridge have set up shelters to provide warmth and food. Some MIT graduate students who lived in apartments in that area were also displaced, or unable to return to the area, and MIT has offered them temporary alternative housing.

Our hearts go out to our Cambridge neighbors, and members of our own community, who are experiencing this tragedy. And of course, our first thoughts are about how we can help. We want to let you know that Cambridge Mayor E. Denise Simmons has set up a gofundme site to collect donations for the impacted families and individuals. If you are wondering how you can support those displaced by the fire, this is an immediate way to provide needed assistance.

You can also send contributions directly to:

Mayor's Fire Relief Fund
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

MIT will be making an institutional donation to the Mayor's Fire Relief Fund and will also be following up with the City to see what other assistance might be helpful in the weeks and months ahead.

Our thoughts are with all those who have been impacted by this tragic event.

Martin A. Schmidt

Cynthia Barnhart

Israel Ruiz
Executive Vice President and Treasurer

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