The Wichitan

Three-alarm fire damages French Quarter

Brittney Cottingham

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Senior Moody Ihmedian came close to losing everything he owned when a fire broke out at French Quarter Apartments Sunday.

“It could have been worse,” Ihmedian said. “The firemen did their job and ensured no one got hurt. It was scary.”

Eight other MSU students weren’t so lucky.

The fire was reported at 9:13 p.m. Firemen arrived on the scene four minutes later, according to Assistant Fire Marshall Antoinette Hastings.

About nine students and two families were driven out by a three-alarm fire, which was extinguished by 11:07 p.m.

The fire started in a chimney flue above Ihmedian’s apartment.

“We had just got done watching the Super Bowl when we heard about the fire,” Ihmedian said. “It was an unbelievable experience. What went through my mind was trying to get everything I own out of my apartment.”

Hastings said investigators ruled the fire an accident.

“The fire was contained in the attic area, but the apartments were damaged by smoke and water,” Hasting said.

The Red Cross arranged for displaced students to be put up in motel rooms. The agency also helped to provide clothing and food for the victims.

“We will help them until they get on their feet,” Red Cross volunteer Mike Dow said. “If students would like to help, they can donate to the Red Cross, which will also help future fire victims.”

The university also assisted students affected by the fires by contributing scrubs, books and supplies.

“We encourage them to come in and get help so we can determine what their needs are,” said Debbie Coughran, assistant to the dean of students.

The university has already assisted two students through book loans and three-day meal plans. They also provided counseling services.

“It is simply the right thing to do,” Dean of Students Dail Neely said. “The goal in this case was to substantially decrease the mitigating factors that would prevent a student from being successful.”

Ihmedian said the hardest part of this experience would be recovering from the situation.

“It’s going to take about a week to get the smell off my clothes and belongings,” Ihmedian said. “French Quarter is doing their best, but they can’t take care of personal belongings lost. That’s why it’s important to have renter’s insurance.”

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Three-alarm fire damages French Quarter