Fire investigators have determined the house fire at the University of Washington Phi Chi Fraternity was accidental. The fire was caused by a malfunction in the electrical system in the basement of the home.
On May 2, 2016, fire dispatchers received a call at 4 a.m. reporting smoke in the two-story home with basement. The first arriving engine company, Engine 34, saw smoke coming from the front door of the building. The home’s 10 occupants and two dogs, were in the front yard when firefighters arrived. Initially, the occupants were unsure of the number of people inside the home. Firefighters conducted two searches and were able to determine everyone was safely out of the building. The fire was located in the basement laundry room. Once the fire was extinguished, firefighters remained at the scene to maintain a fire watch until 12 p.m. There were no injuries.
The damaged building and contents is estimated at 300,000 dollars.