NORMAN, Okla. – It was a scary night for the women of Alpha Gamma Delta at OU as a fire erupted inside their sorority house Tuesday night.
And a sad day as they came back Wednesday for their belongings.
Deputy Fire Chief Jim Bailey says, “The girls will be displaced for some time. They probably won’t be able to stay here for the rest of the semester.”
Student Brooke Stuart says, “I live in the house right behind it and we came outside and it just burst into flames the whole roof, so it was pretty scary.”
Members say they consider this house their home away from home.
The women took to social media to express their grief saying, “Absolutely heartbroken to see my home engulfed in flames,” and “It breaks my heart to see the place I called home in flames. Please pray for the women of Alpha Gamma Delta.”
The University as well as their sorority headquarters say they are working to find these women a permanent home.
Brooke Stuart has lived in a sorority house with over a hundred women and as investigators continue to search for a cause she says the possibilities are endless with that many people under one roof.
“I can’t imagine what they are going through,” says Stuart. “You just have to be careful I guess, but it’s kind of a wakeup call.”
Fire crews had everything under control in 40 minutes, just enough time to do serious damage. Officials are estimating $500,000 to the structure and $250,000 to what was inside the house.
Alpha Gamma Delta headquarters released this statement: “We can confirm that there was a fire at the Alpha Gamma Delta chapter house at the University of Oklahoma. Thankfully, all of the women who were living in the facility are safe and accounted for. The international organization is working with our Alpha Gamma Delta chapter at the University of Oklahoma, volunteers and campus professionals to support the chapter during this challenging time.”
Statement from University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren: “We all deeply regret that the women of Alpha Gamma Delta have experienced a serious fire. OU Housing and Food Services and other sororities are assisting in finding temporary housing and providing food for members. Vice President Stroud and his staff including Kristen Partridge and Jill Duty, are taking the lead in the university’s efforts. We are all grateful that there were no deaths or serious injuries as a result of the fire.”
“OU immediately accounted for all the women last night and verified that here were no injuries. The women were all housed last night, most with sorority members who had not currently been living in the house. OU is providing meals today at Couch Restaurants for the women. OU is working with the sorority’s house corporation to evaluate longer-term housing needs. OU deans have been notified of the situation. OU has made counselors available. OU officials are continuing to assess needs of the women.”
Click here for more information on how to donate to the sorority members living inside the Alpha Gamma Delta house.