« Videotape DiagnosisFront PageComments »

Thatcher Hall Fire

From my alma mater:

Around 3:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 26, a fire broke out near a kitchenette on the third floor of Thatcher Hall, the women's residence at Southern Adventist University.

Twenty-two fire trucks responded. There has been one fatality. The victim's family has been notified. Two students have been taken to the hospital. All residents of Thatcher Hall have been evacuated and are in a safe location on the university's campus.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim's family and students during this time of crisis.

"This is affecting us very deeply here at the university,"� says Gordon Bietz. "Please pray for the students and the staff as we struggle to deal with this tragedy."�

The academic deans are meeting to decide what to do about today's exam schedule. A service will be held on campus later today, and campus counselors and pastors are providing counseling for the students.

More details here.

What a bad way to end a school year. Prayers go to the family of the victim.


April 26, 2005 11:19 AM


I've been talking to people there all morning. This event, coupled with the plane crash several months ago, has left a noticeable pall over the campus. By the way, the name of the victim is Kelly Weimer, a junior English major from Woodridge, Ill. My heart goes out to her family, as well as the students and faculty.

Brian A
April 26, 2005 11:35 AM


Any word on what caused the fire? Looks to be cooking-related.

April 26, 2005 11:57 AM


They know for sure that the fire came from the 3rd floor kitchenette. No one seems to know yet the specific cause. I asked the people in administration that I know to contact me as soon as they know what exactly was the cause.

April 27, 2005 10:17 AM



A friend in Collegedale just sent me this:

UPDATE: Investigators Release Cause Of Fire

That fire broke out at 3:30 Tuesday morning.
Investigators say a candle burning in a room on the third floor of Thatcher Hall is to blame. 20-year-old Kelly Weimer was trapped inside and died. Two other students were treated and released from Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, TN.

I have not yet seen this update on any of the news websites, but I this is the word I am getting.

Brian A
April 27, 2005 11:01 AM


Thanks, Dave.

The only details I got from a friend yesterday were that Ms. Weimer most likely got disoriented in her attempt to escape. He also said the fire was contained to a relatively small area and didn't consume any of the residence rooms.