Fire Engulfs Louisiana Frat House

May 21, 2012

A fire gutted a Louisiana Tech University fraternity house on Saturday, resulting in minor injuries to three firefighters but none to students.

Lt. Tim Parker of the Ruston police said firefighters responded to a 4:35 p.m. CDT call about a fire at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house at the edge of the Tech campus in northern Louisiana. The fire engulfed the building and spread to a nearby structure. It caused a roof collapse and items to be ejected from the frat house, but Parker denied initial reports that there was an explosion.

He said three firefighters were treated at Northern Louisiana Medical Center. Two suffered from heat exhaustion, while a third was hurt when he was on stairs that gave way.

The half-dozen or more students who were inside the building were all evacuated safely, Parker said.

“The fire department and police department got all of them out safely,” he said.

The school’s spring commencement was Saturday.

Parker said every available fire unit in the city responded and they were still battling the blaze more than two hours after it started. He expected it to be under control by nightfall.

He said the fire may have started in the chimney, when someone was cooking or grilling, and spread to the walls. Ruston police and the state fire marshal were investigating the cause. He described the fire as a “total loss.”

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