The Archives of Phi Gamma Delta

Archives Home Founders Traditions Today in History Historic Sites Leaders Exhibits/References Blog Contact

______________________________________________________________________

 

Phi Gamma Delta Chapter House Fires

Pulled from The Phi Gamma Delta magazine, this list of significant chapter house fires makes clear that the likelihood of disaster is high, especially when one considers additional undocumented fires, burst pipes, roof leaks, vandalism, and other dangers. Only preparation, caution, and safety devices (like sprinklers) can protect you and your chapter house!

Links point to external articles or photos of the fires. Also see our pictorial exhibit of chapter houses circa 1927.

1895 - Indiana: Zeta loses its house to fire.
1910 - Indiana: Zeta's house destroyed by fire for the second time in fifteen years.
1910 - Tennessee
1911 - Ohio Wesleyan: Early discovery of a furnace fire limits damage to a few rooms.
1913 - Columbia: Brothers avert disaster by extinguishing a chimney fire.
1918 - Washington and Lee: The campus's first fraternity house, Zeta Deuteron's, is destroyed.
1922 - Wabash: Fire destroys the second floor and attic; the original charter also burns.
1922 - Illinois Wesleyan: Alpha Deuteron's house burns; only the walls are left standing.
1924 - Maine: Omega Mu's house destroyed by fire.
1933 - Penn State: $10 to $15 thousand damage cause when fire breaks out in July.
1934 - William Jewell: Fire destroys part of Zeta Phi's house, dislodging them for a year.
1942 - Lehigh: Beta Chi's house destroyed by fire.
1943 - Amherst: Fire guts the third floor of the Alpha Chi house.
1944 - University of Colorado: a fire at the temporary chapter house kills a pledge brother.
1945 - Rutgers: Fire kills three; the house was leased by another fraternity at the time.
1948 - Syracuse: Fire destroys interior of house on April 9; fortunately, no one is injured.
1948 - Missouri: Fire destroys Chi Mu's house on May 11; firemen rescue 21 brothers from the roof.
1964 - Alabama: Theta's chapter house destroyed.
1960 - University of the South (Sewanee): Fire destroys Gamma Sigma's lodge.

1960 - Stanford: fire consumes the chapter house.
1962 - Auburn: At 3:40 AM Saturday, the Delta Colony's house burns down. They move to a new house and become Alpha Upsilon chapter that fall.
1964 - Illinois: Chi Iota's house burns.
1967 - Kansas: Pi Deuteron's house is destroyed.
1968 - Gettysburg: Jay F. Hinsley '69 loses his life when fire engulfs the third floor.
1970 - Illinois: Fire damages the second floor of the Chi Iota house.
1971 - Wisconsin: Early morning November 1, fire guts the Great Hall, causing extensive smoke damage to the rest of the house.
1973 - Lafayette: Sigma Deuteron's house destroyed by fire.
1975 - Illinois: The third fire in eleven years, ignited by an electric blanket, destroys the third floor.
1982 - Iowa State: Fire is discovered at the Alpha Iota house around 4 PM; the fire lasts until after dawn the next day. Winds and below-zero temperatures encase the gutted house in ice.
1982 - Lawrence: Fire causes $10k of damage to the chapter house living room.
1984 - Washington and Lee: Fire guts Zeta Deuteron's house and kills one brother.
1990 - Rutgers: Arson claims 78 Easton Avenue on June 18; the house is subsequently demolished.
1993 - Southern Methodist: Burning cigarette ignites a couch, gutting the house.
1996 - North Carolina: An early-morning fire at Epsilon's house kills five people.
1997 - Cincinnati: An overturned candle causes $75,000 damage to Chi Omicron's third floor and attic.

Back to Monuments and Historic Sites page