Dartmouth College, Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity Destroyed by Fire - Four Injured


Submitted 2 years ago
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Michael Hinsley

Today in Hanover and Dartmouth College History February 19, 1936

Fire broke out on the second floor of Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity early morning hours of Wednesday February 19, 1936. The Dartmouth, at press time, reported no injuries, but records report one student sustained burns to his face and hands.

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Two students suffered rope burns from the Fire Escape Rope used to slide to safety that required medical treatment for hand injuries.

A fourth student suffered non-life threatening but serious injuries after being forced to jump from a third floor window to escape advancing flames. The fire blocked the single means of egress from his room. He jumped towards a mattress placed by his fraternity brothers but missed, striking the frozen ground. The injured students were carried to Dick's House, Dartmouth's infirmary, for attention.

The Dartmouth February 19, 1936

Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity was located on the Northeast corner of North Main St and Choate Rd.

Section of 1928 Map

Alpha Sigma Phi at Dartmouth College was originally founded in 1925, as a local fraternity named Sigma Alpha, The local fraternity became the Alpha Eta chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi, a national fraternity, in 1928. Faced with financial difficulties during the Great Depression, the Dartmouth chapter dissolved in 1936.

C. Everett Koop, class of 1937 and Surgeon General of The United States from 1982 to 1989, was a member of one of the final Alpha Sigma Phi pledge classes at Dartmouth. 

February 1936 Alpha Sigma Fraternity Winter Carnival Sculpture

The brothers Winter Carnival sculpture of a Walrus appeared to have survived the blaze with the loss of his tusks.

Photo Credit To Dartmouth College Rauner Library

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