A fire ravished through a Western Kentucky University fraternity house early Sunday morning.
“It’s the cornerstone of the fraternity…it’ where I live.”
It’s what one member reflected on as he surveyed the damage after an early morning house fire that destroyed the Sigma Alpha Fraternity house on Western’s campus.
Bowling Green Fire Department got the call around 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning.
When firefighters arrived on the scene they found heavy smoke and fire showing in several parts of the house.
“Everybody’s real upset right now, we don’t know what to do,” SAE member, Grant Huyear said.
Witnesses say 3 of the 4 men jumped from a second floor window creating some tense moments.
“There was so much smoke in the house they couldn’t exit through the hallway.”
Past and present members showing up at the scene reflected on what the house meant to them.
“We always would meet here, and have parties here.”
Investigators say it will take some time to determine the official cause of the fire.
Most of the debris is falling down into the basement and officials say they’re going to bring in equipment and tear out part of the building as they do their investigation.
Meanwhile, fraternity members are asking why this could happen as they pick through the rubble and piece their lives back together.
“It brings everybody together, it's where everyone meets, it's where everything happens, it's really sad to see it go.”
Western officials say around a dozen people live in the house but most of them were not home at the time of the fire.
Fire officials say the fraternity had just recently installed new smoke detectors, which they believe made this fire have a different ending.
Frat and Sorority Houses are Inspected:
According to the Bowling Green Fire Department all fraternity and sorority houses are inspected every fall and SAE had passed all of their inspections.
The SAE house is insured and is owned by the fraternity. Western officials say residence hall rooms are available for members of the fraternity affected by the fire.
Second Fraternity Fire for WKU:
Sunday mornings fire was an all too familiar scene for students who may remember the 1998 Kappa Alpha fraternity house fire.
Around 15 KA members were sleeping when the fire broke out and all members escaped just in time.
Former Western student and KA brother, Jody Wick was charged with arson and was cleared of all charges.