Fraternity followed all fire safety ordinances

Lisa Hlavinka

When it came to fire safety, the members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house did everything right. The smoke detectors were all in place and working.

But, the constant beeping of the detectors didn’t help one member.

Jamie Farrell was asleep when the fire broke out, and did not wake even after the smoke detectors in his room went off. Luckily for Farrell, Sean Hardy, another member, was there to help.

“He basically saved me,” said Farrell, a sophomore architecture major. “I fell asleep through all the fire alarms, all the smoke, and he actually had to kick down my door to get me out.”

The fraternity house, located at 222 University Drive, was damaged when it caught fire early Sunday morning. The house followed all fire safety ordinances, including having fire detectors in every room and several fire extinguishers throughout the house.

The Kent Fire Department still hasn’t determined a cause for the fire, which originated in the basement. Chief James Williams said the fire department is still putting together information from witnesses to help determine the cause of the fire.

“At this time we don’t have any reason to believe the fire was intentionally set,” he said when asked about the possibility of arson.

Farrell said that the insurance company looked at the house yesterday. Williams said the insurance company will determine whether to investigate the fire, which the fire department will cooperate with.

The fire came at a particularly bad time, since it had been closed all summer to be renovated at the cost of $170,000. The bill went to Sigma Alpha Epsilon, who owns the house.

“Everything was going so smoothly and then this happened,” Farrell said. He expects the house will probably need to be torn out, and the inside will need rebuilt.

Lisa Hlavinka