Crews were called to the Sigma Chi fraternity house at 1600 Tennessee St. about 4 p.m. after people reported seeing smoke. Because of the red flag warning that was in effect, firefighters took the call to a third alarm, bringing in fire crews from Overland Park, Lenexa and Olathe. The fire appeared to be just inside the roofline eave where it met the porch. Workers have been doing renovation work to the house's pillars. “They cut open spaces to try to get to where the fire originated,” said Eve Tolefree of the Lawrence Fire Department and EMS. Everyone was able to safely evacuate, firefighters said. The house has a fire alarm and sprinklers installed, though the sprinklers did not go off. Firefighters have not said what caused the fire or released details on the severity of the damage.
The best part comes at the end of KMBC's broadcast report on the story, when the cute reporter notes that the brothers who returned to the house started blasting “fire-themed” songs. Frat on, KU. Frat on.