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Early in the morning of January 22, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Phi Delta Theta chapter saw their senior house burn down. Luckily, nobody was severely injured, despite a situation that called for numerous residents and guests to jump out of a second-story window.
Phi Delt senior house resident Robert Penicook told the story of the fire to The Daily Illini.
From The Daily Illini:
“We tried to go downstairs, but there was this thick cloud of hot smoke, burning, keeping us from going back there. I shut the door, and then we all, there’s five of us at this point on the second floor, we ran to the right back room, looked out the window and saw all the other guys who had crawled out the basement window,” Penicook said.
“They were screaming, ‘You gotta get out of there, the entire place is on fire.’ So what we did was me and Troy and Grant folded Grant’s mattress in half, threw it out the window, dropped the girls down first from the two-story window, then we jumped.”
Despite the estimated $300,000 in damages that will eventually need to be paid, the Phi Delt seniors are just happy that they’re still alive and kicking, and that they were able to remain close to each other despite their relocation.
As of now, twelve of the seniors found apartments relatively close to each other, which was very important to the group, Penicook said.
“It’s our senior year and everything like that, we wanted to try and remain close,” Penicook said. “Six of us are in an apartment at the distillery, the other six are at an apartment on First Street, First and John. We are still within two blocks of each other, so we can still kind of stay together. That was an important thing.”
The senior house is a hallowed ground. Not only is it an off-campus party venue unbound by IFC regulations and university restrictions, it also serves as the location of the final college memories that you’ll make with your pledge class. It’s the college equivalent of a retirement home, except you’re surrounded by your best friends instead of a group of putrescent zombies and, depending on what you’re into, it can sometimes house even more medication.
It sucks that they’re not all together anymore, but we’re glad everyone’s okay..
If you want to read more about the fire and see a photo of the destruction, click here.
[via The Daily Illini]
Image via Google Maps