Early morning fire at fraternity house believed to be arson

Courtesy of flickr user Rob Swystun

According to a report on NJ.com, a fire at a house belonging to brothers of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity is believed to be arson. The early morning fire displaced three people and damaged the belongings of several others.

A statement from the Gloucester County prosecutor’s office says that the reason for the investigation is that several small brush fires have occurred in that same area, all of which show a similarity to this morning’s fire. Bernie Weisenfeld, the media coordinator for the county prosecutor’s office said that while it was too early to go into full detail about the investigation, several investigative measures lead detectives to the conclusion that it was arson.

The fire started sometime around 4:30 a.m. at 411 Hamilton Road, with Rowan student Ryan Alwine and his girlfriend Elisa Obedoza inside the house at the time of the fire. Another student, Jake Kershaw, was beginning the process of moving in as well. All three escaped unharmed as neighbors banged on the door to wake them up. However, most of the personal belongings in the house were damaged, including three cars parked outside.

Obedoza has started a gofundme page with the goal of helping the students who lost belongings in the fire to get back on their feet. As of now, the page has raised over $7,300, surpassing its $6,000 goal. According to the description on the fundraising site, the money donated will be divided as needed among the people impacted by the fire.

One of the students that donated to the gofundme was Kylie Kieffer. In an online response, the sophomore business major said that she donated because of the sense of togetherness she feels on campus.

“I donated because Rowan is a big community, like a family and I can only imagine how hard it has been for them and especially as college students any little thing helps,” said Keiffer. “I know [that] them and other Rowan students would do the same for me.”

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