Fire destroys frat house

Jason Mann

Jason Mann

Greek organizations across campus have pulled together to help some of their own in the aftermath of the fire that destroyed the Sigma Phi Delta house.

The SPD house, located just south of Crothers Engineering Hall on 11th Avenue, burned down early on the morning of March 31. While the official cause is still unknown, Brookings Deputy Fire Chief Pete Bolzer said in an earlier interview with KELO news that it is believed the fire started on a couch located on the porch and then spread through the house, leaving seven SPD members homeless.

The Interfraternity Council held an emergency meeting March 31 in order to organize an aid effort. The IFC, which includes the six men’s fraternities at SDSU, made a list of items they believed the residents of the house would need right away. Along with the collection and distribution of clothes, shoes and school supplies, each of the fraternities offered beds to the SPD members displaced from the house.

“We want to help out our fellow fraternities. They are us,” said Kyle Gustafson, a sophomore agronomy and agriculture business major and vice president of the IFC.

Gustafson believes that while this was a very negative event for SPD, the fire could prove to be very good for the future of Greek life at SDSU. He said the fire demonstrates that the various Greek chapters on campus are able to work together very well to achieve a common goal.

“This was definitely a wake-up call; it could happen to anyone,” said Peter Beck, a junior dairy manufacturing major and president of Alpha Gamma Rho.

Beck said AGR members, along with several other fraternities, are thinking a lot more about fire safety, especially about installing a fire-suppression system in their houses.

According to Mark Kobylinski, a junior civil engineering and wildlife and fisheries major and president of SPD, the seven members of SPD who lived in the house have found places to stay for the remainder of the academic year. Four are now housed in residence halls, and the remaining three are staying with friends off campus.

Kobylinski said the landlord of SPD’s former house is already working on rebuilding what was destroyed. He said if everything goes according to the plan, SPD will be back in the house in time for the start of the fall 2007 semester.

“It should be like new,” Kobylinski said.

He said none of the seven house residents had renters’ insurance, but since they were full-time students, their parents’ homeowner insurance policies should cover the cost of replacing the damaged items.

An account has been opened at MetaBank to collect any monetary donations people make in order to help SPD cover the cost of damages by the fire. If you wish to make a donation, send a check to:

600 Main Ave.P.O. Box 98Brookings, SD 57006

#1.883556:2025949607.jpg:spdfiremotorcycle.jn.jpg:A motorcycle lies in ruins after the Sigma Phi Delta fire on 3/30/07.:#1.883555:3257575555.jpg:spdfire2.jn.jpg:The SPD house on the morning of March 31 after the fire was put out.:#1.883554:2441270394.jpg:spdfire.joekolba.jpg:Brookings firefighters work to put out the fire that burned down the Sigma Phi Delta fraternity house on March 31. The fire is thought to have started with a couch on the house’s porch.:Joe Kolba