An MIT professor and his wife, a prominent archaeologist, were killed last night when a fire broke out in their Beacon Hill home. Arthur Trent, 42, and Hope Cahill, 41, lost their lives in the blaze that destroyed the family’s brownstone. Their two children, Amy, 7, and Dan, 4, survived.
Police are still investigating possible causes of the fire. While they will not comment on possible foul play, neighbors have strong opinions about last night’s tragedy. Janet Greenhill claims that the fire seems “highly suspicious.” She remembers seeing a strange limousine pull up in front of the Cahill/Trent home “well after midnight” but noticed that no one turned on the lights after the guests went inside. “It was almost as if Hope and Arthur were trying to keep their visitors a secret.” Although no one can verify her story, Greenhill swears she saw two people run out of the house shortly after the fire started. “They took off in their limo without trying to help, or even talk to the police.”
Anthony Chambers didn’t notice any suspicious activity but notes that “Hope and Arthur were good people but they kept strange company. There were always people coming and going. People wearing weird clothes, speaking different languages. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that Hope and Arthur were living some double life. Like they had some secret business or something. They also went out of town a lot. Said it was for work, but what does a math professor need to go to Indonesia for?”
Regardless of the source, the fire was nothing short of a tragedy for the two young children Cahill and Trent left behind. One tearful witness says she’ll never forget the sight of Amy and Dan sitting on the sidewalk before they were escorted away by police. “The bottom of Amy’s nightgown was charred. It looked like she got out just in time. She had her little brother in her lap. Dan was playing with his ninja teddy bear, making sound effects for its sword. But Amy was dead silent. She just stared at the burning building. Wouldn’t look at anyone. Wouldn’t answer any questions. I tell you, it’ll be years before I get that little girl’s face out of my head.”