Campus fire safety documentary to debut at UW-La Crosse

Oct. 19, 2012

Film features those impacted by last year’s Drake Hall fire

A nationwide fire safety documentary that highlights the Drake Hall fire at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse will have a debut showing on campus.

“9 Fires” — the story of the impact that nine campus-related fires in January and February had on campuses, communities, victims and families at colleges throughout the country, will be shown during a meeting of regional first responders and others at UW-L Monday, Oct. 22.

The presentation runs from 9-10:30 a.m. in the Cleary Alumni & Friends Center. A summit with first responders will follow from 10:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Gail Minger, president of the Michael H. Minger Foundation and Ed Comeau, publisher of Campus Firewatch, will return to La Crosse to share their insight about creating the documentary, along with expertise on campus fire safety.

Six people impacted by the January fire in Drake Hall who were interviewed in April will appear in the final production. They include: Chancellor Joe Gow; La Crosse Fire Chief Gregg Cleveland; La Crosse Fire Captain Dan Skiles; La Crosse Fire Division Chief Craig Snyder; and students Allison Montcrief and Betsy Collins.

“The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse provided valuable information and footage for the Minger Foundation documentary ‘9 Fires’ in dealing with an on campus fire earlier this year,” says Minger. “Even though there were no fatalities or injuries, this fire had a significant impact on the students and the continuity of the university’s mission. We are grateful to all those who participated and know the important information they shared will raise awareness and add to the education of campus fire safety.”

Comeau says the documentary has even more meaning in light of the tragedy in Eau Claire where two students were killed in an off-campus fire earlier this month. “This will be a unique opportunity for us to share ideas, strategies and tactics that we can use in our own communities and possibly across the nation,” he says.

The summit will cover off-campus fire safety and what can be done to address these types of fires.

The documentary was funded and produced by the Michael H. Minger Foundation and Campus Firewatch. It will be available on the Foundation’s website, www.mingerfoundation.org Friday, Oct. 19.

If you go—
Who: Gail Minger, president of the Michael H. Minger Foundation and Ed Comeau, publisher of Campus Firewatch
What: “9 Fires” — a documentary of the impact that nine campus-related fires in January and February
When: Presentation from 9-10:30 a.m.; summit of first responders from 10:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Where: UW-L Cleary Alumni & Friends Center
Admission: Free.