Tragic fire could happen anywhere

If you haven’t already read, five people were killed in a house fire near Ohio State University early Sunday morning. Three other students were injured and many more are now mourning the loss. The fire started around 4 a.m. during a 21st birthday party. Students were reported to have heard the fire alarms, but only reacted when someone started yelling the word fire.

The cause of this fire is yet to be determined by investigators, but a fire spokeswoman said the cause is “suspicious.” To think this tragedy might have been caused by something other than an accident is nearly unfathomable.

No matter the cause of this fire, though, a situation like this could happen on any college campus, and has at least two times here this school year.

No one will deny the assertion that college towns are known for housing — houses, condos, apartments, lofts or any other type of housing — that is often kept in poor condition. We’ve all heard and often experienced the horror stories of off-campus living in Bowling Green: Leaks, bad carpet and dysfunctional appliances, among others.

Some apartments in town are unequipped with proper smoke detectors, sprinklers or other prevantative measures in case of a fire. If you live in a house without some sort of working fire detection system, then contact your landlord immediately. This is something that they should take care of without question.

The risk of fire is increased when large amounts of people are packed into a small apartment or house. Even with smoke alarms and sprinklers, an overcrowded place could become a fire hazard. This holds especially true for apartments with only one door and 30 people trying to go through it at the same time.

If the reason you have 30 people packed into a small apartment is for a party where alcohol will be served, then the risk is increased even more. Alcohol alters a person’s state of mind and makes them do things they normally wouldn’t do. Say, throw a cigarette in a trash can full of paper or simply throw it behind the couch.

An excellent way to prevent this from happening is to not allow smoking in your aptartment during parties. For those of you who scoffed at the last statement, please be aware that this information could prevent a tragedy.

So, don’t let the perils of unkept houses, overcrowded places and too much alcohol be a factor in a tragedy. Take preventative measures to take these factors out of the equation. If you do have a party, make sure that you hold it some place with at least two exits.