News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 28, 2014

UPDATE: Police investigating dumpster fires at ISU apartments

Staff Report
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Indiana State University Police are investigating a series of dumpster fires that have occurred in recent days at University Apartments.

Two fires occurred overnight Monday near Units 1 and 2 along Farrington Street and were quickly extinguished by the Terre Haute Fire Department, according to an ISU news release. University staff discovered two additional fires this morning near Units 3 and 4, closer to Crawford Street. The latest fires apparently burned themselves out before being discovered.

None of the dumpster fires caused significant damage and police have no indication the incidents are connected to Tuesday’s fire at Unit 4 in University Apartments, said Joe Newport, university police chief.

While the cause of the Unit 4 fire is still under investigation, it is believed to be accidental. A lawn mower that had used earlier in the day and was being serviced in a basement workshop is the probable source of the fire.

The fire in Unit 4 caused about 100 students, relatives and guests to be relocated to Pickerl Hall on the main Indiana State campus.

University Police are asking anyone with information about the dumpster fires or other suspicious activity recently at University Apartments to call 812-237-5555.

The university appreciates the quick response and the efforts of the Terre Haute Fire Department in extinguishing the fire in Unit 4 and limiting damage to the effects of smoke, said Amanda Knerr, executive director of residential life and housing.

“We also want to thank the Wabash Valley chapter of the American Red Cross for providing immediate assistance to residents of Unit 4 on Tuesday and to the Vigo County School Corp., which arranged for a special bus to pick up students this morning at Pickerl Hall,” she said.

The university is working with contractors to ensure that displaced residents can return to their regular campus homes as soon as possible, Knerr said.