Fire breaks out at Sigma Chi fraternity house during recruitment

Benjamin Din, Digital Projects Editor

A small fire broke out in the Sigma Chi fraternity house Tuesday evening.

No injuries occurred and only minor property damage was sustained, University Police Deputy Chief Dan McAleer told The Daily in an email.

The fire at the house, 2249 Sheridan Rd., occurred after dinner during a fraternity recruitment event, when potential members are invited to join the fraternity, Sigma Chi president Walker McKinney said. A partition had been set up using a bedsheet to create a backdrop for the event in a candle-lit room on the second floor.

After the event, the candles were not blown out, and the bedsheet caught fire when it fell onto the open flame, the Communication junior said. An occupant of the house immediately put out the fire with a fire extinguisher, but there is still about a quarter inch of ash or soot in the room, as well as a strong smell of smoke, he added.

People inside the house were evacuated for about an hour, McKinney said.

Both Evanston Fire Department and Facilities Management responded to the scene, and the fire department cleared the house for reoccupation, McAleer said.

“The occupants of the affected room were relocated to another room in the house,” he said in an email. “All other rooms were unaffected and remained occupied.”

NU’s Office of Risk Management was also notified, he added.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @benjamindin