25 December, 1987
Eating club fire cause still probed
The cause of a structural five-alarm blaze last week at the Terrace Club, which serves Princeton University students, remains undetermined one week later.
Officials are continuing wnh an on-site investigation and interviews of club members and firefighters with hopes of resolving the mystery by the middle of next week, said Mercer County Fire Marshal George Lenhardt.
The blaze, which empted at 5:50 p.m. on Dec. 11. caused an estimated $100,000 to $500,000 damage to the Tudor-style club. The Terrace Club, which was built toward the end of the 19th century was declared uninhabitable. Its 150 members and two residents are being accommodated by the remaining 13 social and dining clubs on campus.
“We’re will looking into it. There are a lot of stories floating around.” Mr. lenhardt said. “Yes, there were paint brush. yes there was paint thinner, yes there were cardboard boxes in the area where the fire started. But as for the cause of the fire, we still don’t know.”
There were no injuries in the fire. Internal damage to the building was heightened by the club’s hollow walls, which allowed fire and superheated gases to rise. A second fire blazed on the building’s third floor nearly two hours after the fire first broke out.