Archive for Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Firefighters respond to fire at Sigma Chi Fraternity

August 22, 2012, 3:55 p.m. Updated August 22, 2012, 4:31 p.m.


Firefighters respond to a reported fire at the Sigma Chi fraternity house, 1439 Tenn.

Firefighters respond to a reported fire at the Sigma Chi fraternity house, 1439 Tenn.

Members at the Sigma Chi fraternity, 1439 Tenn., watch smoke billow from the roof area of their house on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012 .

Members at the Sigma Chi fraternity, 1439 Tenn., watch smoke billow from the roof area of their house on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012 .

Crews respond to fire at Sigma Chi

Lawrence Douglas County Fire Medical personnel responded to a fire on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012, at the Sigma Chi fraternity, 1439 Tenn., around 3:55 p.m. Crews worked to douse smoldering flames on the roof on the northeast side of the house. Members of the fraternity were able to move back into the house Wednesday evening. Enlarge video

Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical crews put out a fire on the roof of Sigma Chi Fraternity on Wednesday.

About 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, fraternity members smelled smoke coming from outside of the building, 1439 Tenn., and immediately evacuated it and called the Lawrence Fire Department.

The fire department arrived to find smoke coming from the building and roof. The department deployed a truck with an aerial ladder to spray the roof of the fraternity house. At one point, small flames could be seen, but the fire was under control around 5:30 p.m.

Division Chief Eve Tolefree, a Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical spokeswoman, said crews had yet to determine the cause of the fire, and damage estimates were unavailable Wednesday night.

The building appeared to be lightly damaged, and fraternity members were able to move back into the building Wednesday night.

According to Sigma Chi chapter president Blaine Kaehr, the smoke originally came from the roof of the house between the front pillars and the actual building.

“We know it didn’t start inside, and there wasn’t anyone outside,” Kaehr said.

All 82 members of the fraternity made it out of the building safely.

Kansas University spokesman Jack Martin said that the university would contact professors to make sure they understood the fraternity members’ situations.

Kaehr said he had yet to think about how the incident might make attending classes difficult.

“I’m just very concerned about safety and am glad right now everyone is OK.”

Kaehr credited fire drills for the speedy and safe exit of all the fraternity members.

No firefighters were injured putting out the fire.


Ragingbear 3 years ago

Firefighters respond to report of a smoke at Sigma Chi Fraternity~~ Report of a smoke? Dear God! Somebody left a cigarette out here on the steps, call 911!!!

FormerCentralKansan 3 years ago

This fire was a real tragedy. It hit the "house library" especially hard....both books were destroyed and one hadn't even been colored in yet.

LogicMan 3 years ago

Maybe an electrical short in the attic if there is one? Fireworks? A way for someone to get on the roof to smoke?

Matt Herrera 3 years ago

It's also been reported that several brightly colored polo shirts may have been damaged.

Adrienne Sanders 3 years ago

Contact their professors to make sure they understand what "situation"? They were able to get back in the same day, what needs explaining about having to be out of your residence for a few hours?

Cai 3 years ago

I understand them reporting it to the professors - it's possible that it could have been worse. But as a teacher, given the endpoint, this would basically be my response.

3 years ago

Yesterday on Channel Six several people interviewed said they were inside the building.. So..... which one is it? I feel like I'm reading an article written in a high school newspaper.


First day of school and there is already a fire. WTG.

Brent Fry 3 years ago

Bro #1: Oh man bro, can't believe our house is on fire, bro.

Bro #2: Hope we can still crush some beers tonight, bro. All the bros are going to Quintons/TheHawk/TheWheel bro.

Bro #1: Bro!

deec 3 years ago

I'm no fan of the Greek system at all. However, having had a house fire, it's pretty traumatic. Cut these kids some slack.

Brent Fry 3 years ago

What misfortune? They were allowed to go back in only a few hours after the fire. My townhouse caught on fire a few years back. Sure it sucked and smelled like smoke for a few weeks, but my roommates and I ended up being just fine.

The bros will persevere though this adversity and their sacred bond of brotherhood will be strengthened.

MarcoPogo 3 years ago

"Our house...our house...our house is burning down..."

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