Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house catches fire

Tracy Tucholski

A fire blazed at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house on University Drive early this morning but caused no injuries.

Now, yellow “crime scene” tape surrounds the house, while fire extinguishers, broken glass and beer cans are scattered around the exterior. Basement and upstairs windows are shattered and boarded, with their screens lying on the ground and in the bushes outside.

The fire, which started in the basement near the bar at about 4:20 a.m., is still under investigation, said Captain Charles Palmer of the Kent Fire Department.

George Senger, senior psychology major and Sigma Alpha Epsilon member, is one of the six residents who live at the house.

“People started yelling ‘fire,'” Senger said, “and we rushed to get everyone out.”

He used the house’s fire extinguishers to try to exhaust the fire and then used a garden hose from next door when the extinguishers ran out.

When the fire department arrived at the house at 4:24 a.m., the occupants were waiting outside. Firefighters were on the scene for two hours.

“The fire was put out relatively soon,” Palmer said. “Removing smoke and heat took some time.”

Neighboring fraternity houses offered shelter for residents last night, and Red Cross’ assistance was not needed, Palmer said.

Palmer said there is no damage estimate yet.

Contact Greek life reporter Tracy Tucholski at [email protected].