Wisconsin Fraternity House Catches Fire


Ten people were displaced when fire ripped through a fraternity house at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater early Monday.

Campus police said five people were inside the Tau Kappa Epsilon house, at 1238 W. Main St., when the fire broke out just before 3 a.m.

The fire started in apartment No. 4, 12 News reporter Jason Newton said.

The fire alarm woke those five people up and they were all able to get out uninjured.

"I grabbed the dog. I put on one clog and one tennis shoe. We just ran out of the house, and everyone was screaming. Everyone was trying to get out," TKE member Korey Smith said.

"I heard people yelling outside, so I just went (and) checked the door a little bit. When I cracked it open, smoke poured in, and I was like, 'This is serious,'" TKE member Jared Stange said.

Whitewater police said it took 45 minutes for firefighters to get the fire under control.

The university said it might have been an electrical fire, but police said preliminary investigations indicate it was an accident.

The TKE house was also damaged in 1996 at Whitewater. That fire was ruled an accident. There were no reports of serious injuries to fraternity members, however the house's dog, Axel, died in that fire.

Dean of Students Tisa Mason said TKE house members have all found temporary housing. University officials and community resources will be used to assist TKE members who are in need of permanent residences.