Fire destroys frat house at Randolph-Macon College - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Fire destroys frat house at Randolph-Macon College

ASHLAND, VA (WWBT) -

More than a dozen students at Randolph-Macon College are looking for a new place to live. Their house and many of their belongings are gone after an early morning fire ripped through their fraternity house.

Members of the Theta Chi Fraternity at Randolph-Macon are still in disbelief looking at what's left of their home.

Sam Hutcheson woke up to the sound of fire alarms going off.

"At first I just thought it was someone messing around," Hutcheson said. "But as soon as I saw the smoke I knew it was real. I didn't panic or anything but my heart rate jumped."

Hutcheson says he bolted out of the house in just his boxer shorts.

Everyone made it out safely and was quickly accounted for.

Right now firefighters haven't figured out what may have started this fire. There is heavy damage throughout the building. Investigators say the house could be a total loss. The students that live here are still waiting for all of this to sink in.

"It's all starting to hit us slowly," he said. "It's starting to come together to realize the magnitude."

Some of the students were only able to grab a few things on their way out. The rest of their stuff is gone.

School just started for Randolph-Macon a few weeks ago. For some of the seniors, this is not the way they had envisioned enjoying their last year of school.

"Senior year of college is supposed to be the best year of your life," said Andrew Davis. "I'm a senior, I want to have fun partying, enjoying my life, living it up. The place I love to do that is gone."

But as luck would have it - several guys installed new smoke detectors in the house just this spring as a service project. Those alarms did their job and may have saved their lives.

"Good thing we got it done," Hutcheson said. "It would have been a much worse story if we had not had that done. It could have been a lot different. It could have been a lot worse."

The college is working on temporary living arrangements for the students.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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