Tags: purdue | fire | one | dead

Purdue Fire Leaves One Dead, Several Students Homeless

Friday, 25 Apr 2014 10:13 AM

By Michael Mullins

A Purdue University fire has left one person dead after flames swept through a residence near the Indiana school in West Lafayette early Thursday at about 5 a.m.

The victim's name and whether the person was a Purdue University student has not been released by authorities, who told reporters that an autopsy was scheduled for Saturday.

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According to the Kokomo Tribune, all other residents were able to get out of the complex in time, though several residents sustained minor injuries.

"We’ve had several who have been taken to the hospital without life-threatening injuries – smoke inhalation," West Lafayette police Lt. Troy Harris told the Kokomo Tribune.

According to Harris, the flames burned through the roof and destroyed an entire end of the building, The Associated Press reported. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Purdue student Michael Unata was one of the survivors from Thursday's fire. He told the Kokomo Tribune that he was awoken from his sleep by a neighbor.

"We thought it was a neighbor just messing with us," Unata told the newspaper.

"At first I thought it was a minor thing, and then we got out and the whole end of the building was just engulfed in flames," Unata added. "It was so surreal. I’ve never seen anything like that ... that close to where we live."

"I was expecting – maybe it was a drill, maybe it was a small fire," fellow Purdue student Mike Cluskey added. "(I) walked out on my balcony, looked right and there was just massive flames. Wow!"

As in Unata's case, Cluskey was made aware of the fire by a neighbor pounding on his door, prompting him to grab his laptop, knapsack, and run out the back door.

Thursday's fire is the second fatal fire in West Lafayette in 36 years, WLFI.com reported.

The students living in the complex have since been relocated to campus housing.

According to officials, while the fire remains under investigation it does not appear to be suspicious, WLFI.com noted.

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