A fire roused Beta Theta Pi fraternity brothers from their beds early yesterday morning and resulted in water damage in the house at 3900 Spruce Street. According to Beta President Craig Boreth, a stereo in a third-floor bedroom "managed to explode" at about 1 a.m., sparking a small fire and triggering the alarm and powerful sprinklers. Water damaged the room, two second-floor bedrooms, and the first-floor living room, and all brothers were evacuated. No one was injured in the incident. Boreth said that College senior Robert Cowles, in whose room the fire started, was out of town when the incident occurred. Cowles could not be reached for comment yesterday. University Fire and Occupational Safety Office officials said yesterday they are not sure what caused the fire and are still investigating the fire. Boreth speculated that the fire resulted from either an electrical overload or candles burning in the empty room. Beta members said yesterday that the water damaged recently renovated parts of the University-owned house, including a refinished wooden floor and leather furniture in the living room. Boreth said the floor will have to be refinished again. Some brothers said they are most upset by the damage to the new floors and furniture. Wharton sophomore Richard Rein, who was in the living room when the alarm rang, said he did not think there was a real fire because the house's alarm goes off frequently without cause. "I just assumed it was another false alarm until someone came down from the third floor screaming," Rein said. And Wharton sophomore Randy Rivera said he was asleep when the alarm went off. "I thought it was just a noise going off," Rivera said. "A brother came and got me . . . I just ran out of the house in my shorts." Rivera said he is unhappy with the damage that occurred from the small fire, but added that "the house still looks beautiful." Ronald Jasner, claims supervisor in the University's office of risk management, said yesterday he does not know the extent of the damage or how much money the University will spend to fix the house. Jasner also said the University does not insure personal belongings. He said students should make sure their posessions are covered by either their parents' insurance company or renter's insurance.Comments powered by Disqus
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