Two fraternities face “suspicious” house fires


Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) Fraternity. Photo by Luke Williamson (C’21). 

By Richard Pryor III
Executive Staff

During the weekend of February 23-24, two possible cases of arson occurred at the fraternity houses of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) and Alpha Tau Omega (ATO). In notifications to the campus community, the Sewanee Police Department (SPD) called the fires “suspicious” and has since offered a $10,000 reward for information “leading to the identification of the person(s) responsible” in the case of the SAE fire.

On February 23 at approximately 12:06 a.m., a fire was discovered in SAE’s basement. Later that day, police had cordoned off the fraternity and its parking lot with caution tape. SAE president Reid Alexander (C’19) said that due to the ongoing investigation, it would be “inappropriate” for him to comment.

On February 24, another fire was discovered at ATO’s fraternity house at approximately 10:22 in the morning. According to the SPD’s notification, the fire was “contained to a small area and extinguished and there were no injuries.” J.T. Mitchell (C’20), a member of ATO, stated that the damage, all located in their downstairs band room, was minimal.

Chief Marie Eldridge of the SPD stated to The Purple that because both investigations were ongoing, she could not comment beyond what has already been released. However, she highlighted the fact that both fires were “suspicious in nature” and asked that if someone has information, they should call the SPD.

As soon as more information is released, The Sewanee Purple will offer updates on their social media and website.