Students safe after fire near DePauw

Thursday, October 30, 2008
Greencastle firefighters respond to an attic fire at 303 S. Jackson St. Wednesday evening. The fire forced DePauw students out of their home and caused $5,000 in damage. No one was injured.

Several students from DePauw University escaped unharmed Wednesday evening when fire broke out in the home they were renting near campus.

Students living in the home at 303 S. Jackson St. in Greencastle reported seeing a brown spot on the ceiling, smelling something burning and hearing crackling in the attic before calling 911.

Doug Strodtman, a senior at DePauw, told the Banner Graphic he was living in the house with Lukas Schooler, also a senior at the university, and Dustin Funk, a fifth-year intern with DePauw. The house is owned by Steve Modlin.

The men said they were using several space heaters in order to heat the home and had tripped a circuit breaker several times prior to the fire.

Fire Chief Bill Newgent told the Banner Graphic the students had reported the problem to their landlord earlier in the day and were told an electrician was going to be out to investigate. But before that could happen, the fire broke out.

"We talked to the landlord and told him we were vacating the house tonight for fear of a fire," Strodtman said.

Fortunately firefighters arrived on the scene and were able to extinguish the flames before they spread beyond the attic.

"The guys were able to make access to the attic and put out the fire very quickly," Newgent said.

He estimated the fire did about $5,000 worth of damage to the home in addition to about $1,000 damage to the occupants' belongings. The students are now staying with friends on campus.

The house was equipped with smoke detectors, but the students said they were not activated by the fire.

Newgent told the Banner Graphic that he personally checked the detectors and that they were in fact working. However, he said they may not have been activated because the fire was in the attic.

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    These are the future leaders of Indiana. Liberal arts students who don't know that circuit breakers trip to prevent wires from overheating. LOL

    -- Posted by tackleberry65 on Thu, Oct 30, 2008, at 8:16 AM
  • Oh, come now. Give the students a break. How many 20-21 yr olds even know what a cicuit breaker is, let alone what it does? I didn't know until I was 31 and became a homeowner.

    -- Posted by cloverlady on Thu, Oct 30, 2008, at 9:03 AM
  • This proves that common sense is not a requirement for admission to Depauw.

    -- Posted by paddy whack on Thu, Oct 30, 2008, at 9:27 AM
  • Liberal Arts students don't study circuit breakers. Area 30 students study circuit breakers.

    -- Posted by Bornandraisedinthecastle on Thu, Oct 30, 2008, at 10:03 AM
  • How many of you know that older houses (like this one could very well be) Have older elictrical systems. I konw, it's hard to believe. Give the kids a break. They prolly dont have the money nor the resourses to get the place fixed up. It's obviousely a temp living arrangement. Get off their backs.

    -- Posted by joey_cope on Thu, Oct 30, 2008, at 12:41 PM
  • Why did they need to use space heaters. Did the house have a working furnace?

    -- Posted by localman on Thu, Oct 30, 2008, at 2:58 PM
  • Did you even read the whole story, tackleberry? It said that they had reported the problem to their landlord earlier. It isn't like they were just sitting around doing nothing about it.

    -- Posted by musicmiss33 on Thu, Oct 30, 2008, at 3:28 PM
  • Well said depauw2012. Ignorance is a terrible thing. If people do not get to know the "real" people then stereotyping will continue. Ever person is an individual and should not be put into a group.

    -- Posted by cloverlady on Fri, Oct 31, 2008, at 8:05 AM
  • I am glad the guys are ok but did they loose any belongings ? Has anyone thought that their computers could have been shorted because of bad wiring in an old house that I'm sure needs updated. If they didn't have renters insurance they could need some items. I have lived in this town my entire life and I am sure sick and tired of all of the bad comments from you townspeople. I think most of it is just jealousy that these young people are going to go off and be successful and you are going to just stay here and blame others because you didn't do something with your life.

    -- Posted by T.C. FATHER OF 2 on Fri, Oct 31, 2008, at 11:07 AM
  • I'm glad the students are safe.

    -- Posted by Ready2Go on Wed, Nov 5, 2008, at 6:04 AM
  • OH MY GOD!

    I Am a Greencastle native who now lives in Bloomington. Each day I read the Banner online.

    And each day I am amazed at the way you treat,talk and relate to each other. Have some love people!

    Who cares why the house burnt? Who cares if they were or were not schooled in electronics?

    Or Art? Who cares if they went to Depauw or Area 30?

    Who cares about your opinion?

    Does anyone care that no one was hurt?

    Greencastle does care about Depauw!

    And Depauw cares about Greencastle.

    Without one the other is nothing.

    Old Asbury (Depauws first name)came because of this town. We the (people of Greencastle)survive because of the money that is brought into our community by this institution.

    All your ranting and hate towards anything just proves ONE THING!

    ..............even rednecks have the internet!

    -- Posted by Jeff Lancaster on Wed, Nov 5, 2008, at 4:57 PM

    Is someone speaking critically of Depauw?! Gasp! This just will not do, as they are the salt of Greencastle, neigh! Putnam county!!!! If not for the campus, this whole area would shrivel up and DIE, lest we forget!

    We should all take a moment each day and stop and say THANK YOU, DEPAUW, for whatever it is you do that obviously makes life worth living in this town that was otherwise bleak and meaningless before thine gracious arrival.

    Carry on, citizens nothing more to see here...

    -- Posted by smaller_gov_now on Wed, Nov 5, 2008, at 7:42 PM


    All your ranting and hate towards anything just proves ONE THING!

    ..............even rednecks have the internet!

    -- Posted by Jeff Lancaster on Thu, Nov 6, 2008, at 10:21 AM
  • Without Depauw there would be about 600+ people in this community without jobs. So, i'd say Depauw is pretty important to Greencastle. Not to mention all those students who are spending their money in WalMart and our other local businesses.

    Glad to hear no one was hurt.

    -- Posted by putcoresident on Thu, Nov 6, 2008, at 11:41 AM
  • Its sarcasm now!

    You sure have a funny way of making your point?

    We should all take a moment each day and stop and say THANK YOU, DEPAUW, for whatever it is you do that obviously makes life worth living in this town that was otherwise bleak and meaningless before thine gracious arrival.

    Sounds to me like you were just wrong and rather than admit it, you just go with the majority?

    Anyways, Have a great day.

    -- Posted by Jeff Lancaster on Fri, Nov 7, 2008, at 7:48 AM
  • I am new to this commuity and would like to make a few comment's about the way the town people talk about the Depauw student's I think that it is a disgrace that so many of Greencastle's citizens work at Depauw and talk about the student's the way you do. I work for a soroity and I could not ask for any nicer girls than are at the soroity They are always asking if I need any help doing anything,not all the student's come from families with money,I no girls that are graduating with student loans of 45 to $50,000 hanging over their heads,I'll bet you wouldn't even think of going and having a debt like that to pay back. Did you ever stop to think that if you had of been smart enough to go to college that maybe you would not be working in a factory that is owned by Japan and the money that you are making for that factory goes to Japan and not to this country and just maybe one day you could be working for somebody that graduated from Depauw and that money would stay in Greencastle. So the boy's didn't no want to do when they smell smoke I doubt if you would be half as smart as they were they did call the home owner If the house had the right wireing there would not have been a problem.

    And by the way I doubt if you could have passed the S.A.T.'S to get into college, so we won't worry about little Johnnie going to college either since the Nut does not fall from the tree. My guess is that Little Johnnie will be a REDNECK just like daddy.

    -- Posted by dam on Sat, Nov 8, 2008, at 2:59 AM
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