The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

State News

October 10, 2013

ISU fire cleanup under way

(Continued)

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. —

Residents on the third and fourth floors were asked to remove all personal belonging — except for large furniture — by 6 a.m. Wednesday.

They were able to take items to their new lodging or to storage space in the basement of Unit 4. Residents “were very understanding of the situation,” Knerr said. Residents and ISU staff “worked together to get things out. … It was really good to see the community rally together.”

She was at the building late Tuesday night and saw many people offering to help.

She also praised residence hall staff for their response. “We have a great team. They all know what their roles are” and they quickly identified housing alternatives for displaced residents.

Knerr anticipated residents of the first and second floors would be out for a few days, but it will take longer for third- and fourth-floor residents to move back.

The cleanup effort will include drying out the building, cleaning furniture, clearing out smoke and removing soot.

After cleanup is completed, carpentry crews will have to repair doors and windows. Also, electrical work will need to be done in the apartment that burned.

The Wabash Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross “was phenomenal” in offering assistance and a place for residents to wait until they had new living arrangements, Knerr said.

The family that had been burning the incense did so as part of a religious observance, according to ISU officials.

Currently, residents of University Apartments are allowed to burn such things as candles and incense, Knerr said. “It is a family environment, and residents tend to be older students,” often graduate students, she said. That policy will likely be reviewed to see if anything needs to be changed.

Those who live in residence halls on the main campus are not allowed to burn such things as candles or incense.

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