september 11th at Lothlorien Co-op

Soundtrack in my head: The Church, “A Different Man”

loth-exter-12A little bit after 1 a.m. on September 11th, firefighters were called to a fire that broke out at Lothlorien Co-op, one of Madison Community Co-op’s oldest and most legendary co-ops.  Thank goodness everyone got out safely, but over thirty people are in limbo right now. Reportedly everyone got out safely because the smoke detectors were working and the fire doors were in their proper closed positions.

The fire began on the third floor deck.  Ironically, I had been on that same deck for the first time just eight days before when I was visiting people at the house.  The fire was put out but the building was deemed unsafe due to the damage from fire and water.  A secondary fire broke out in that afternoon apparently due to insulation that had been smoldering, and efforts to put out that fire reportedly increased the extent of water damage within the house to 75%.  People have been escorted in and out of the house to retrieve their belongings.

The Red Cross has provided shelter and many of the displaced people are staying with friends.  We are still waiting for the prognosis for the building as we speak.

Lothlorien Co-op is somewhat legendary in Madison co-op house lore.  It was founded in 1974 and there are/were house journals going back all the way that far. Half of my current co-op house has lived at Lothlorien at one time or another, and I know many more people who had lived there at one point.  Many people have stories of their years at Lothlorien Co-op.

Offers for help have come from co-ops and individuals within Madison and across the country.  MCC staff have been working tirelessly to address issues that have come up with the fire.

I hesitated to post the video below, but it shows what the fire looked like as it was filmed from a fraternity across the cul-de-sac.  I should also warn that there is more than a little bit of colorful language as the fraternity brothers made their comments.

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