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Lightning ignites fire at Lone Star

Weather causes damage to University apartments, 16 students lose everything and 45 students were temporarily displaced

Sierra Taylor, Managing Editor

The fire was started by a lightning strike Wednesday, March 20 approximately at 3:45 a.m.
The fire was started by a lightning strike Wednesday, March 20 approximately at 3:45 a.m.

Firefighters were called to TWU’s campus in the early morning Wednesday, March 20, when a fire started at TWU’s off-campus Lone Star Apartment buildings.

Students were evacuated from their homes at 600 Texas Street at around 4 a.m. and transported to the Student Union. The Denton Fire Department reported no injuries and investigators say that the fire was caused by a lightning strike.

Director of University Housing and Residence Life Jill Eckardt says that the emergency plan put in
place for situations like these worked very well.

“The first 911 call was at 3:52 a.m. and I believe I was there by 4 a.m.,” Eckardt said. “Honestly, the community came together in a time of crisis. There was a neighbor who was walking his dog and saw the fire and began knocking on doors to get students out. Even the resident advisors did what they were taught and called who they were supposed to, to get us there.”

Campus and city officials discuss the damage caused by the fire.
Campus and city officials discuss the damage caused by the fire.

There are 16 students who were permanently displaced by the fires, those students lost a number of personal items, but there have been a number of different fundraisers put on by the community. Student Veterans Association, SPARK, Athletics and other TWU organizations have begun raising money for these students. The university has also set up an emergency fund for students in crisis and it has received over $20,000 in donations.

Eckardt said that she has not seen a dollar figure for the damage to the building, but a fireman advised that they should tear the building down and build new.

“The building is managed by Scott Brown Properties,” said Eckardt. “We have already been in conversation with Scott Brown about more housing for this upcoming fall so we have to wait and see what they are thinking.”

Eckardt added that it has been very heartwarming to see the community come together and want to help the students that were affected.

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