Firefighters battle flames at SDSU fraternity

Ruth Brown

Ruth Brown

A fire broke out at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house on the corner of Seventh Street and 11th Avenue on Presidents’ Day.

“Right now we don’t know what started the fire in the structure,” said Darrell Hartmann, Fire Chief for Brookings. “As I understand it, some of the residents of the house were in the basement and came upstairs because they smelled smoke and then discovered the fire.”

Everyone got out of the house safely and the residents then called 911. The number of people that live in the house has not been determined but is believed to be between nine and 15 people.

The time of the call was at 12:48 p.m. and after two hours the fire department was still trying to extinguish the fire.

“Hopefully we will be able to save the north side of the structure,” said Hartmann. “But at this point we just need to finish putting out the fire.”

Tim Heaton, police chief for the University Police Department said that it is unfortunate that this happened.

“As soon as they saw the smoke, they closed the door and got out of the house,” said Heaton. “So that was great that they all got out safely.”

Some university administration was at the location of the fire to support the young men who live in the fraternity.

“We are going to try and make sure they have everything that they need for the night,” said Marysz Rames, vice president for Student Affairs. “I want to let them know that it’s going to be okay and that we’ll do what we can to help them.”

The Red Cross of Brookings has offered their services to the men in the fraternity and support for them with what they have to offer.

“We will be providing them with our services until they can get back on their feet,” said Pat Powers, director of Brookings Red Cross. “They have accommodations for tonight and I’m sure they will be taken care of until they know what their next move is.”

Other SDSU fraternities have started to make an effort to gather things to give to the people who lived in the house.

“I really just hope that their going to be okay and (the other fraternities) are going to try do whatever we can to help,” said Brandon Lindstrom, a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and a senior political science and economics major. “We are going to try and get some extra clothes and shoes for them. Anything that people want to give would be good.”

Lindstrom said that if anyone has textbooks or even notes from classes that they have with people who live in the house that would be helpful to them.

If anyone would like to make donations to the SAE fraternity, they can drop them off at the Brookings Red Cross located at 323 22nd Ave.