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Frat-house Halloween decorations hinder firefight

3 years ago October 09, 2011 Oct 9, 2011 Sunday, October 09 2011 Sunday, October 09, 2011 12:44:19 PM EDT in News
Source: Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS- A fire captain battling a three-alarm blaze injured his shoulder when he fell through a floor early Sunday at an off-campus Tulane University fraternity house where Halloween decorations hindered firefighting, the New Orleans Fire Department said.

None of the residents were injured in the fire that broke out early Sunday at the Zeta Psi house, said Capt. Edwin Holmes Jr., a department spokesman.

"Tarps and debris used for decorations inhibited suppression efforts by making it difficult for fire personnel to find walls and doorways hidden behind the black tarp," he said in a news release.

The firefighter was resting at home Sunday after treatment at a hospital, and another firefighter returned to service after treatment for exhaustion and dehydration, Holmes said.

He said the fire apparently started in or around the kitchen. One resident told investigators that when he heard the fire alarm he "came downstairs to find the entire kitchen in flames," Holmes said.

He said flames engulfed the two-story building when the first truck arrived but the fire was controlled in about 90 minutes.

The building is on a part of Broadway St. known as Tulane's Fraternity Row.

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