Police Arrest Suspect in Frat Building Fire
By: Crystal Britt & Heartland News
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Fire officials in Cape Girardeau now consider the fire overnight at 1134 North Sprigg suspicious.Police also have a man in custody. He's suspected of setting fire to the Sigma Chi fraternity event house. The suspect's name is not being released at this time.
The fire broke out around 4 a.m. When fire crews arrived not much could be saved.
"We extinguished the fire within 15 minutes, but by that time the building was pretty much gutted out on the inside of the interior," said Fire Chief Rick Ennis.
At day break, the damage was revealed. Fraternity members Doug Kluesner and Andrew Knott tell Heartland News Sigma Chi hosted a Halloween party the night before. They say the party broke up early.
"We were there. We all left shortly after midnight and then next thing I know, I get a phone call," said Knott.
"It kinda hit me pretty hard, a big shocker right there. I didn't know it was that bad," said Kluesner.
All the commotion woke up neighbor Shirley Smith.
"I was in bed asleep then I heard a noise and I looked out my window and saw red lights. I thought, 'Oh my goodness it's a fire.' So, I ran outside. The smoke was so thick, I had to run back in because it was taking my breath away," said Smith.
While neighbors lost sleep, so did nearly every member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.
"We all spend so much time down there. It's tough going through something like that, that all our memories are attached to, but no one was hurt," said Andrew Knott. "We'll pull together as a chapter. We always do," said Doug Kluesner.
Official charges on the suspect in custody are expected Friday morning.
Updated 2:44 p.m.