At approximately 9:45 a.m. Monday, a fire broke out at the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.
Security was called to the scene while members of the house waited for the Indianola fire department to arrive. According to Indianola Fire Chief Brian Seymour, the fire department rushed to the scene and after investigation, concluded that a fluorescent light fixture shorted and produce large amounts of smoke in the second floor hallway.
“The fire itself wasn’t that big,” said junior Noah Cornelius, Lambda Chi Alpha secretary. “It was mostly just smoke and melting plastic.”
“Before outside help arrived on the scene, the Simpson custodial staff had extinguished the actual fire that occurred due the short in the light fixture,” said Chris Frerichs, director of campus security.
The members of the house were all safely evacuated to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon lounge and waited for no longer than 45 minutes while the fire department cleared the smoke from the house with large fans. However, some members of Lambda Chi Alpha were late for their morning classes.
According to Cornelius the light fixtures that were installed when the house was built seven years ago were of a cheaper quality. “They’re fine if they’re properly taken care of,” said Cornelius.
“I think that student development did a wonderful job of handling it [the fire],” said senior Kyle Hanson, president of Lambda Chi Alpha. “However, this fire could have been prevented.”
According to Hanson, there was a fire during workweek that happened to be very similar to this one.
According to Hanson all florescent light fixtures, including the ones within individuals’ rooms, will be replaced in order to avoid future occurrences. Simpson College will pay for all costs for damages and replacement fixtures.
“There was minimal damage to the facility and maintenance is now looking into the issue,” said Frerichs.