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Arson ruled out in Liedman fire

September 27, 2013

Kelsi Ford / The Courier

While the investigation into the September 3 fire in Liedman Hall is still ongoing, the investigator with the State Fire Marshal’s office has found no indication of arson. The silence on the fire and the FBI’s involvement with the investigation had started rumors of possible arson to start propagating at Monmouth College. The FBI was involved initially but has since concluded their investigation.

According to Milly Santiago, of the Springfield Fire Marshall’s Office, the investigator has requested an electrical engineer to look at the scene. It is theorized that there was an electrical problem in the room. This problem would have enabled luggage stored under the bed to catch fire. However, no cause has been officially determined. The investigator’s report is pending.

According to the Fire Marshall’s Office, the FBI was involved during the initial stage of the investigation. They were called in as a precaution since there was an international student living in the dorm room. They interviewed individuals about the possibility of arson. Once arson was ruled out, the FBI withdrew and is no longer involved in any investigations of the fire.

Since the early morning fire, the two students involved have been trying to go on with life. Both girls lost the majority of their possessions. Following the fire, students have conducted a fundraiser in the upper level of the Stockdale Center to help the girls financially recover some of their losses.

The fact that this was not arson and that it was possibly an electrical issue will enable the investigation to move quicker. The investigator’s report should specify what started and contributed to the fire. Hopefully, this will lead to measures to enhance safety at Monmouth College. These measures will hopefully insure that no one will have to go through what those two young ladies are dealing with.

Elisha French
Political Editor

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