First campus-related fire death of the 2011-2012 academic year
BELCHERTOWN, Mass., October 2, 2011 – A fire in an off-campus apartment complex claimed the life of Renee Orhn, 19, according to an official from Indiana University - Bloomington. Ms. Orhn was a freshman from Gary, Indiana and had not declared a major yet.
According to a spokesperson from the Bloomington Fire Department the fire was reported at 3:37 a.m. on Saturday, October 1 in the Terra Trace apartments at 321 East 14th Street, a three-story apartment building. More information will be released at a press conference on Monday afternoon.
This is the first campus-related fire death in the 2011-2012 academic year. Since January 2000, Campus Firewatch has documented 147 campus-related fire deaths with 85% of them occurring in off-campus housing, where approximately 2/3 of the students across the nation live. The past three years have seen a definite downward trend in fire deaths from a high of 20 in 2006-2007 to 6 in 2008-2009; 5 in 2009-2010; and 6 in 2010-2011.
Common factors seen in a number of these fires include:
- Missing or disabled smoke alarms
- Lack of automatic fire sprinklers
- Careless disposal of smoking materials
- Impaired judgment from alcohol leading to ignition or inability to escape the fire
- Upholstered furniture on porches or decks contributing to the fire
More information on campus fire safety, including a listing of fatal fires since 2000 and an Information Sheet, can be found at www.campus-firewatch.com on the RESOURCE page.