George Washington University Fire Forces Evacuation of Sorority House

By Peter DePaolis

College dorms and fraternity and sorority houses are particularly vulnerable to fires. Usually multiple students live together and fill their cramped living space with electrical equipment, food, and books. The National Fire Protection Agency reported that college dorm fires have increased a great deal lately. While authorities recorded only 1,800 college fires in 1998, by 2005, that number had reached 3,300. If you have been involved in a fire that was the result of negligent behavior, a Washington, D.C. personal injury lawyer can help you obtain compensation for your injuries.

On a recent Saturday afternoon, a fire broke out at the Kappa Kappa Gamma House on the campus of George Washington University. The fire occurred in the 600 block of 23rd Street NW. Firefighters broke into the third-story room where the fire started and was throwing out burning notebooks and papers, which scattered along 23rd street. Fortunately, there were no injuries. The resident was not in the room at the time. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

There are some important guidelines to remember to mitigate the risk of a fire in a college dorm or Greek housing. Cooking is the leading cause of college fires. Never leave stoves and hot plates unattended. Avoid overloading the electrical outlets in your room. With laptops, cell phone chargers, and audio/video equipment, students tend to use a lot of power strips and extension cords. Keep things unplugged and packed away that are not in use.

If you have been involved in a fire, contact a Washington, D.C. personal injury attorney like Paulette Chapman at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P to learn how to protect your rights.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.