Charges laid after campus fire

A McMaster student has been charged after a small fire at the Bates residence building on Saturday, January 28.

No one was injured in the fire which was contained to one suite of 4 rooms and quickly contained.  The building was evacuated.  Some smoke and water damage means students from three nearby rooms have been relocated to other residences.

Hamilton Police have charged 20 year-old Ruomu Ba with arson-disregard for human life. Hamilton Police Service issued a release on Sunday.

“That anyone would set a deliberate fire is deeply disturbing, especially in a student residence,” said Sean Van Koughnett, the university’s associate vice president (Students and Learning) and dean of Students. “We are grateful for the quick response by McMaster Security Services, Hamilton fire and police and will help in whatever way we can in the investigation.” 

McMaster will also be actively following up on the case under the university’s Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities.

The building was re-opened and was back to normal operations a few hours after the fire had been reported. There is no continuing safety issue for campus.

“Our housing office was quickly able to help students find other accommodation and there is a range of supports available to students, including those offered by the Student Wellness Centre, at the university to help students who may have been impacted by the incident,” says Van Koughnett.

Police are asking anyone with information that could assist with the to contact Detective Sergeant Lockley by calling 905-546-3833.

To provide information anonymously call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit your anonymous tips online at