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Fire sweeps through Sigma Nu fraternity house

Tiffany Oliver

Issue date: 9/4/09 Section: News
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On Sunday, Aug. 30, residents of the Sigma Nu fraternity house, located on Murray Hill Road, in the South Residential Village, witnessed the confusion and consequences of an actual fire. The incident serves as a reminder to the CWRU community of the potential danger and damage a fire can cause, as all members were forced to evacuate as the house sustained moderate smoke and water-induced damage.

John Horton, president of Sigma Nu, was able to share some information regarding the incident via e-mail. The fire originated in a resident's room on the third floor, and began when a couch accidentally caught on fire (the cause of the fire remains officially unknown), occurring at approximately 5 p.m. Evacuation began immediately while the fire department arrived to extinguish the fire and attempted to limit the damage.

Students and community members were able to see the fire trucks parked on Murray Hill outside of the Sigma Nu house, and the smoke exiting the house, but were unaware of the circumstances that caused the incident. The fire quickly spread within the original room, causing smoke damage to several surrounding rooms and hallways, and completely destroying the room in which it began.

Several rooms, as well as the hallways, sustained moderate to substantial smoke damage. The house is currently being repaired by the university. Case has provided the residents of Sigma Nu with temporary housing in Cutler House, as well as the use of a university provided meal plan until the house is restored. Currently, it is unknown how long the construction will take, as the house needs to be equipped with a new fire alarm system and many of the windows need to be replaced.

Members are hoping to move back into the house by the beginning of next week. Beyond structural damage, the fire caused smoke damage that destroyed the personal property of several residents, including clothes and other belongings.

It is evident that the fire at the Sigma Nu house was a hazardous and dangerous one, and that the potential for serious injury and further damage was fairly high. However, the firefighters who answered the call worked extended hours to repair immediate damage to the house, and ensure that more residents' property would not be damaged or destroyed.

For further information, please read president John Horton's letter to the campus.
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In This Issue

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