House fire affecting students still under investigation


Hannah Auten

Phi Delta Theta seniors Matt Marcotte, Daniel Oversen and Greg Garro visited their house to collect their belongings on Friday, Jan. 29. The house caught fire in the early morning of Jan. 22.

By Daily Illini Staff Report

UPDATE: The residence at 908 S. Oak St. that caught fire early on Jan. 22 was confirmed to be a senior house of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity.

According to a report issued by the Champaign Fire Department, firefighters appeared on the scene at 3:51 a.m. and had the fire under control by 7:06 a.m. The report also confirmed that there were six civilian injuries, although the extent of the injuries is unknown.

It was estimated that the cost of combined damages totaled to around $300,000, property and contents included.

Upon the fire department’s arrival, anywhere from 5 to 14 individuals were trapped upstairs as the fire spread from the first to second story of the house, the report stated. Some of the residents had already jumped from the first and second floor windows to escape the fire.

The house was equipped with smoke alarms that went off as expected. The cause of the fire is still under investigation it’s possible that impairment of drugs or alcohol contributed to the fire, the report stated.

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    Having fire protection systems at home absolutely helps in maintaining your family’s safety over a sudden raging fire; however, is your obligation as home owner to do a fire system repair if something is failing because this is the only way to ensure that it will work correctly in case of a fire.


    A residential fire occurred in the earlier morning hours ofFriday at 908 S. Oak Street, according to a press release from the Champaign Fire Department. Firefighters arrived at 3:47 a.m. to find heavy smoke and fire coming from the first floor of the two story house.

    “Whenever we arrive on scene the first thing we do is we want to make sure we have everybody accounted for from the structure,” Champaign Deputy Fire Marshal Randy Smith said. “First and foremost we want to make sure everybody is out.”

    At the time of the fire, the department found 11 of the 14 residents present on the scene.

    “All the residents are going to have to be relocated,” Smith said. “It’ll be some time before they can come back.”

    Once they were confident nobody was still in the building, the team worked to suppress the fire, a process that finally ended at 4:08 a.m.

    “The fire suppression went very smoothly,” Smith said. “One of the things we did, we always encounter this time of year, we always have to worry about ice accumulation as we’re putting water outside the structure that runs out, we do have to worry about safety.”

    The team cleared the scene at 6:42 a.m. without any reported firefighter injuries. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

    “We’re going to spend more time on the scene, doing the scene examination,” Smith said. “It’s usually some time before the investigation comes out.”

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