FLUSHING (WJRT) (11/22/17) Some Kettering University students had to escape into the dark and cold last night after fire broke out in the Sigma Nu fraternity house.
The house, which is nearly 100 years old, was badly damaged.
"I couldn't believe it when I saw it," said Ivan Panayotov, a Sigma Nu member.
That was often the reaction after fire hit the Sigma Nu fraternity house at Flushing and Elms roads in Flushing just after 9 p.m. Tuesday. Heavy smoke was pouring from the attic and third floor when firefighters pulled up and ran upstairs.
"We got heavy fire conditions after that, so we had to pull our crews out and go to a defensive attack," said Jim Michael, the Flushing fire chief.
A check was made to ensure everyone was out of the house.
"They ran around, pulled the fire alarms and got everybody out of the building," said Michael.
Fire crews from Swartz Creek, Clio and Mt. Morris Township were brought in to help knock down the flames. The building had been renovated several times through the years.
"It made it quite a challenge to try and get in there and try to find out where the fire actually is at," said Michael.
By the light of day, it could be seen the frat house had been seriously damaged. Those who had lived there in the past were shocked by what they saw.
"We spent so much time working on it, keeping it up and so many memories of living here and growing up into adults," said Panayotov.
Thirteen men lived in the house. Many of them lost computers, books and other personal items.
"To lose it all, I can't imagine," said Panayotov.
The students will be allowed to move into the Kettering residence hall. Other fraternities in the area have offered them rooms.
"News spread and obviously there was a huge outpouring of support. We're a small campus and tight knit community so our students and staff always pull together to help in a situation like this," said Patrick Hayes, Kettering University spokesman.
No one was injured. Flushing fire officials are investigating to determine the cause. It's not clear if the house can be saved.