Local News

ECU frat-house fire injures one

Posted January 30, 2009 10:41 a.m. EST
Updated January 31, 2009 11:03 a.m. EST

— A fire broke out at a fraternity house adjacent to East Carolina University early Friday, injuring one student.

Alarms about the fire in the back of the Sigma Phi Epsilon house, 406 Summit St., went out at 6:23 a.m., WRAL's sister station WNCT reports. Initial reports from fire officials indicated that one student jumped out of the house to escape the fire.

One student suffered burns on his legs and was taken to Pitt County Memorial Hospital.

Fourteen students lived in the house, and all were accounted for, said Patrick Sebastian, president of the East Carolina InterFraternity Council.

But the students lost their clothing and other belongings, and a pet dog died in the fire, Sebastian said. Some will live with friends until they can recover from the fire.

Sebastian credited Sigma Phi's preparedness, including a successful, recent fire inspection, for the students' survival.

"Although this is certainly a tragedy that these men will never forget, it is also a testament to the East Carolina Greek Community’s preparedness for fires and other unforeseen tragic events," Sebastian said in a statement. "There is no doubt that these fraternity men handled an extremely difficult situation as well as anybody could have asked."

Authorities had blocked off several roads around Summit Street, and Red Cross and ECU counselors responded to help students.

Anyone who wants to help the displaced students can call the InterFraternity Council at 252-328-4235.