A fire at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house Monday evening was caused by hot materials unknowingly being dumped into a bathroom trash can on the second floor of the house, according to an investigation by the Vermillion Fire Department.
Firefighters and other emergency personnel responded to the fraternity house located at 429 North Plum Street Monday evening at about 4:50 p.m. for a fire call. According to a VFD press release on Tuesday morning, firefighters found smoke showing on the second floor and after further investigation it was determined that the fire was in the bathroom of the second floor.
All occupants of the house were temporarily evacuated, but were allowed back into the house within an hour of firefighters arriving on the scene.
Fire hoses were hooked to hydrants on both ends of the block and firefighters carried ventilation fans into the house. Windows on the second floor of the house were also opened. The garbage can where the fire started was brought out into the middle of the street and was doused with water by firefighters.
The bathroom where the fire was at suffered minor smoke damage, but according to the VFD, it was due to the quick thinking of fraternity members that prevented further damage to the house.
“Due to the quick actions of the occupants and their use of fire extinguishers prior to the arrival of the fire department, the fire damage was limited to the room of origin [bathroom], with some minor smoke damage to immediate areas of the second floor bathroom,” the VFD said.
The fraternity house was back to normal operation Monday night, according to the VFD.