Update: Cause of Phoenix cooperative fire still unknown
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to accurately reflect Don Carter’s position.
Updated 1:43 p.m.
The cause of an early-morning fire at Phoenix cooperative has yet to be determined, East Lansing Fire Inspector Don Carter said.
Carter said the on-duty crew got the call at 3:02 a.m., and the fire was put out by 4 a.m.
The fire started in a back hallway of the second floor of the cooperative, 239 Oakhill Ave. There also is water damage to the first floor. All 29 residents got out of the building safely.
East Lansing Fire Department officials said the structure is salvageable.
“There was significant damage,” Carter said. “Crews are still working on it. Some units were unaffected, but a couple were significantly damaged.”
East Lansing police Capt. Murphy said there were no injuries and could not confirm whether arson is suspected.
Theatre sophomore Andrew VanOtteren, a resident in the cooperative, said the fire started in a female student’s room on the second floor of the building.
“We were all on the porch hanging out, and (my roommate) ran downstairs and said there’s a fire,” VanOtteren said. “We went to see which room it was and we saw a glow, so we sprayed the hell out of it and got out of there quick.”
The MSU Student Housing Cooperative plans to provide all displaced students with temporary housing until the damage can be repaired.
“By tomorrow afternoon we will be able to let the students know how long they will be placed elsewhere outside of Phoenix house cooperative, but they are placed in several other housing cooperatives that have occupancies large enough to accommodate to them,” Student Housing Cooperative said in a statement.
Student Housing Cooperative officials could not confirm whether the house is insured.
Staff reporter Meg Dedyne contributed to this report