Fire torches Delmar building that includes Three Kings, student apartments

| Editor-in-Chief

Firefighters used cranes to extinguish the flames that charred the roof of Three Kings Public House on Delmar. (Courtesy of Sylvie Raymond)

A fire at 6307 Delmar Blvd, which contains Three Kings Public House, Iron Age Tattoo Shop, and apartment buildings, burned for multiple hours before being extinguished. The blaze started at roughly 3:30 a.m. on April 26.

Aaron Handleman, a fourth-year graduate student studying computer science at Washington University, lived in an apartment above Iron Age Tattoo Shop. Handleman was up late taking a bath when he smelled smoke. 

“I had the window cracked open and I thought someone was barbecuing or something,” he said. “But then I went out on the fire escape and saw just [a] crazy amount of smoke coming out of the vent of the Three Kings Kitchen.” 

Handleman grabbed his phone to dial 911, and then grabbed his cat, Mawp, before alerting his neighbor and running outside, barefoot.

“Better to be alive and not wearing shoes than dead with my shoes on,” Handleman said regarding his hasty exit. He did leave his passport and wallet inside, and is unsure whether or not he’ll get them back. 

Junior Sylvie Raymond lives in the building next to Three Kings, above Sunshine Daydream. She also awoke to yelling and alarms a little after 3:30 a.m. When she saw police officers and smoke out of her window, she ran around knocking on her neighbors’ doors, raising the alarm for other residents. Raymond was able to grab her backpack, a sweatshirt, and a stuffed animal before helping another resident leash her dogs.  

Aside from minor injuries sustained by a University City firefighter, no other injuries or fatalities have been reported. According to local news outlets the fire continued as late as 10:30 a.m. as the department was still running crane hoses to the building. Raymond said she was allowed back in her apartment around 8:30 a.m.

In an email to students who live off-campus, Alexandria Taylor, manager of off-campus housing, warned students that Delmar was shut down due to the fire. In an email to Student Life, Taylor said that the University is still assessing the impact on the community and that they have “systems in place to coordinate emergency housing.” 

Taylor said employees that were impacted should work with Human Resources Work Life Solutions, and displaced students should reach out to WashU Cares who can help coordinate support.  

Handleman reported that after his early-morning escape, he was staying with his girlfriend and prioritizing getting cat food, a pair of shoes, and some sleep. 

“My cat’s okay. My neighbors are okay. Ultimately, it sucks but I’m glad that at least everyone’s all right,” he said. 

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