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We in the Greek community face an onslaught of threats on a day-to-day basis: school administrations cracking down, agenda-driven media outlets that seemingly get off at the thought of shutting down chapters nationwide, and, of course, ourselves. It’s just this modern, ever-changing, constantly outraged society we live in, where an “HBO Bros/Showtime Hoes” party would be deemed offensive to the underprivileged that didn’t have the financial means for premium cable.
Until recently, although challenging, at least this was still a world where we could live with the peace of mind knowing that no one was actively trying to burn members of our organizations alive. We could rest easy within the walls of our castles under no peril of the house going up in flames other than at the hands of our own drunken mischievousness. Maybe I’m a glass half-full kind of guy, but I took solace in being afforded the luxury to not be charred to ash.
Apparently, as of this weekend, we no longer even have that card in our back pockets, as some lunatic is running around Salt Lake City trying to Stannis Baratheon fraternities. A tipster informed us that both Pi Kappa Alpha and Beta Theta Pi at the University of Utah were victims of a suspected arsonist attack early Friday morning.
From Christopher Koller Samuels:
Most of this info is based off of a release from the Salt Lake City fire department, as well my personal account.
At 4:13am, a 911 call reported a fire in the Pike house on their third floor game room. The assailant climbed up a set of fire stairs in the back of the house, and entered the house through an unlocked door from the roof. An active reported hearing a bang noise and then the subsequent fire alarms. The bang was an inflatable pool left in the room that popped due to the heat. There was no sprinkler system in place at the house, so the damage was much worse than at Beta (photo attached).
At 4:31am, another 911 call was placed reporting a fire at the Beta Theta Pi house around the corner from Pike. The assailant entered the house through a back door which led into the basement, and attempted to set three fires. One was a pile of clothes in the laundry room, located next to the water heater. The next fire was set outside the laundry room, near the door of the chapter room, on a pile of books. The third fire was set on a carpet near the door through which the assailant entered. The house is equipped with a sprinkler system and quickly doused the flames, resulting in much less fire damage than Pike.
It is speculated that the arsonist attempted to enter any fraternity that had their doors open. Pike and Beta are not rivals on campus, nor are they very close socially. The attacks appear to randomly target fraternity houses.
The Salt Lake City fire department arson investigators determined that an accelerant was used in both fires: gasoline.
I’m sending a few photos to include. They should have captions built into the photos already. The photos that show the room damage is Pike’s game room.
Fortunately no one was hurt, but this undoubtedly put a damper on their holiday weekend. I don’t care how gung-ho you are for fireworks, there’s just something about the sight of your place of residence being on fire that kills the whole “let’s play with explosives” attitude you’d normally have on Independence Day. This dude not only tried to incinerate Greek Utes, he robbed them of one of the simplest of pleasures in this world and one of the most patriotic traditions we still have in this country: blowing shit up. That’s an evil I can’t even comprehend.
So far, no arrests have been made..
[via Christopher Koller Samuels]