RIT Mourns Loss in Fatal House Fire

A message from RIT President Bill Destler to the RIT community

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TO: RIT Community
FROM: Bill Destler, President
SUBJECT: RIT mourns loss in fatal house fire

It is with a heavy heart today that I deliver very sad news to the RIT community. A fatal house fire that took place in a Rochester neighborhood this morning has claimed the lives of two RIT students, Seth Policzer and Syed Ali Turab.

Seth was a fourth-year computer engineering student from Parkland, Fla. Ali was a fourth-year professional and technical communication student from New Milford, N.J

Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the families and friends of Seth and Ali. It is a very sad day on the RIT campus. A moment of silence in their memory will be observed at today’s inauguration ceremony.

Thankfully, four RIT students did escape the fire. Three of these students escaped unharmed, while the other student is being treated for serious injuries at Strong Memorial Hospital.

Counseling is available today in the RIT Interfaith Chapel. At this point, we are in the initial stages of planning a memorial service on campus. We will provide you with more information about this tragic event as it becomes available.

Note: Audio of a statement by President Destler at today’s news conference is available at:

Audio transcript of President Destler’s statement available at: