On April 14, 2011, a devastating fire overtook a building in the Ménilmontant neighborhood of Paris's 20th arrondissement, taking the lives of four ambitious students studying from around the world: Jasmine Jahanshahi, Louise Brown, Lise Aseberg and Felicia Bolm. The fire spread quickly, and without the warning of an alarm or a smoke detector or the safe passage of a fire escape, the students fell to their death. Another international student, Grace Flott, was seriously injured.
The victims of this particular fire were studying at Sciences Po and the Sorbonne, and shared a similar concern for humanity and an aptitude for helping others.
Unfortunately, tragic apartment fires are not uncommon in neighborhoods like Ménilmontant- congested urban corridors mostly populated by lower-income residents such as students and immigrants living in century-old wooden structures with little or no fire safety regulations. Jasmine's family and friends knew that she would not accept a world where socioeconomic factors could contribute to increased fire fatalities.
Fortunately, the tools required to safely escape a fire are even more accessible and affordable with improved technology. Jasmine's family and friends established JUSTICE in her memory so that we can distribute fire escape ladders, smoke detectors, and fire prevention education to neighborhoods worldwide!
There are plenty of ways to help us fulfill our mission at home and abroad! From talking to students and local colleges about including fire safety in their pre-departure preparations to distributing smoke detectors and training materials at study abroad fairs, we are looking for partners all around the world to help get the word out! We are a small team of unpaid volunteers but we span all different parts of the United States, including Florida, New York, California, Washington, and Washington D.C. If you would like to help us share our resources with students, parents, and educators, send us an email to get started!