By BEN BRUHNKE
Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, located at 209
College Street, has returned to campus spring
quarter looking for a new residence after the ministry’s house was virtually
destroyed by fire March 2.
Greg Layfield, a senior computer
science major and resident of the Chi Alpha house, said the fire was caused by
several electrical surges that occurred throughout Ruston earlier that
“The power went out a couple times during the day, and it
finally went out for good about 3:30 p.m.,” Layfield
said. “We left the house about 6 to go to eat at Popeye’s and stayed until
about 7:40 p.m. When we got back, the place was in flames.”
Jennifer Babineaux, the Chi
Alpha women’s minister, said she was happy about no one being injured and
believes divine providence had a lot to do with the residents leaving the house
at just the right time.
“It’s a blessing that no one was hurt because of this.” Babineaux said.
“God was looking out for the guys that day.”
Babineaux said the house was
completely destroyed, over 85 percent due to heat damage alone. The ministry’s
insurance company is pending the final costs of the damages.
The Ruston Fire Department was unable to comment or
confirm any information about damages to the house.
Along with Layfield, Zach
Kissinger, a junior business major, Hunter Crawford, a senior political science
major, and Claude Wyatt, a former Tech student, were living in the house and
lost nearly all of their possessions.
“The house itself is unsalvageable, and except for some
minor things, pretty much everything in it is non-repairable as well,” Layfield said.
“The fire was centralized in our living quarters, and the
rest of the stuff in the house was destroyed mostly by the heat.
“After we were allowed to go in and salvage our stuff,
the only things I walked out with were a little box and a backpack full of my
Babineaux has put together an
account at Community Trust Bank, located at 1511 North Trenton St., for anyone
who would like to donate money to help purchase materials for the ministry and
the four residents.
“None of the guys had renter’s insurance, so we are doing
a type of adopt-a-student program to get some money for the guys,” Babineaux said.
“Anyone who would like to donate can go to the bank and
ask for the Tech Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship fire account.”
Layfield said losing the house
was a big hit to the fellowship because it was a great place for members to
escape the school day and enjoy the company of their friends.
“Everyone seems to be pretty upset about it; that was a
house that was open to everyone,” Layfield said.
“The house was open from 8 a.m. until really late at
night, so there were people at the house constantly.
“Now that the place is gone, everyone feels like that
they have nowhere to go. We’re really bummed, but at the same time, everyone is
really optimistic,” he said.
Babineaux said for the time
being the ministry is looking for a new house close to the campus and hopes
when one is found, the members will make it just as great as the old one.
“Right now we have pretty much claimed the couches at
Tolliver Hall so we can still socialize,” Babineaux
“I have been here since 1998; there are a lot of
memories, and it’s hard to see it go.
“Our freshmen miss it especially; they feel like they
have no other place to go to connect with others,” Babineaux
In the midst of this unfortunate incident, Babineaux said she has been overwhelmed by the support of
the other campus ministries here at Tech.
“The Wesley Foundation, the BCM and the rest of the
campus ministries have been amazing to us,” Babineaux
“They have all opened their arms to us and the ministry;
we can’t thank them enough.
“It blesses my heart to know how caring everyone has been
for Chi Alpha and our members.”