Iowa State Fraternity Lights Uncontrollable Bonfire Days Before Lease Ends

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Members of the Delta Chi fraternity at Iowa State University fraternity started an out-of-control bonfire just days before their lease ran out.

Officials say that the fraternity members were in the final days of their lease at an apartment building that had already decided not to allow them back.

According to various reports, the Delta Chi fraternity members had a bonfire at the apartment building on the corner of Knapp Street and Welch Avenue in Ames, Iowa, in the early hours of July 22.

After they threw couches and furniture into the fire, the flame became out of control, causing damage to the building and forcing them to call the police.

Their lease was set to end on Tuesday, July 31.

via The Des Moines Register:

In January, RentAmes Property Management informed Delta Chi it would not offer a new lease because of alcohol-related incidents, citing safety as a reason for refusing housing to the fraternity that had rented out the entire building for the past three years.

Building surveillance caught the bonfire on camera, showing fraternity members start by throwing in couch cushions before deciding to throw the entire couch in the fire. A couple of men are shown pulling back a wooden table that appeared to be a few feet from the flames.

After the fire died down, a second couch was thrown in, which caused the flames to grow out of control. People in the backyard began to back away from the fire; several went inside.

Police arrived after receiving a call around 3:13 a.m., and Ames firefighters extinguished the blaze, according to the police report. The fire did not touch the building, but the report said it was close.

The police report said the fire was next to propane tanks and near a moped. One resident was cited for open burning, punishable by a $135 fine. Welty said he wasn’t notified of the fire until police said something more than a week later.

Nate Welty, a property manager with RentAmes, said that the company will not be renting to other Greek organizations after this experience.

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