For six students, that anticipation of living off campus with
friends was replaced with sadness as an early morning fire
destroyed the house they planned to share for the upcoming
year.

Ashley Dinges
Engineering Jr. Caitlin McCarthy, resident at 501 Linden St., sobs in disbelief as her house burns early Friday morning. (TONY DING/Daily)

No one was hurt in the fire, which was reported at 1:32 a.m.

Firefighters arrived within five minutes to fight the blaze at
501 Linden St., which had been home to LSA junior Rachel Hooey.

“We got out of the house and called 911 and our landlord, and we
didn’t even think it was going to be that big of a deal – we were
more concerned with the damage to the house,” Hooey said.

She said the residents were sitting in an upstairs living room
when they noticed smoke. The fire began in a basement bedroom,
though no one was inside the room at the time of the fire.

“We’re pretty sure it was an electrical fire, like it started
inside of the wall, because it looked like the wall was black,”
Hooey added.

Ann Arbor Fire Department Captain Bob Amburgey also said that
though the case is currently under investigation, the cause was
probably an electrical malfunction.

AAFD reports estimate damage at $335,000, including damage to a
vehicle parked nearby.

Because the fire was initially small, Hooey said the roommates
did not try to salvage many items from the house. Later, she
estimates that the flames reached six to seven feet in height.

“I had the clothes I was wearing and the cell phone I happened
to have in my hand. My roommate didn’t even have shoes on,” she
said.

Hooey added that many other residents on Linden Street offered
to let the six stay with them.

“The house was amazing, we loved the house so much, we’re
really, really sad to leave the area,” Hooey said.

In an unrelated incident, an apartment complex at 1830 Pauline
Blvd. also caught fire last night. Fires also destroyed two student
residences in May and June – the A.K. Stevens Cooperative House on
South Forest Avenue, and a house occupied by members of the
University football team on Oakland Avenue.

The Washtenaw County chapter of the American Red Cross is
providing assistance to victims of both the Linden and Pauline
fires, including offering food, shelter and clothing.

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