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October 1, 2013

ISU apartment fire is accidental; started from burning incense

TERRE HAUTE — No one was injured in a fire today at Indiana State University’s University Apartments and officials say space is available to house all residents who have been displaced.

The fire was reported at 10:41 a.m. in an apartment on the fourth floor of Unit 4 of the University Apartments Complex at 101 Crawford St.

The complex, located off U.S. 41 southwest of ISU’s main campus, houses primarily graduate students and their families.

Affected residents were allowed to return to their apartments at 3 p.m. to check on their belongings. In addition to the room where the fire began, other rooms sustained smoke and water damage.

Officials say that 28 students and a total of 40 residents (including partners/family members) would have to be relocated. All four floors of the south wing of Unit 4 were affected.

There is sufficient space at the University Apartments complex and other university housing facilities to accommodate the residents, officials said.

The fire was accidental, said Brett Doan, Terre Haute Fire Department assistant fire chief. Occupants of the apartment that caught fire had been burning incense in a small bedroom and were not home when the fire started.

That apartment was heavily damaged by fire; other apartments on the fourth and third floors had smoke and water damage.

Once firefighters arrived at the scene, the fire was out within 15 minutes, said Dan Curley, fire inspector/investigator.

Many apartment residents gathered at the American Red Cross at 1 p.m. for a meeting with ISU residence hall staff to learn about  relocation plans and when they could go gather their possessions.

The university’s Early Childhood Education Center is located in another unit of the apartment complex and was not affected by the fire.

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