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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

‘Oh shit, not again’: Another street couch engulfed in flames

Three firemen rake the remains of a soggy couch fire. Photo taken Nov. 27 by Molly Myers.

After 10 years working as a firefighter in Chico, Sam Sherwood guesses he’s seen over 150 couch fires. 

Late Monday night, the Chico Fire department put out a couch fire at the intersection of Hazel and Sixth street.

A group of young men stood on a nearby porch laughing and teasing their friends asking, “Who did it?”

Sherwood said Chico State has taken stronger measures, such as suspensions and expulsions, to punish students who burn couches.

“We have had couches that have started apartment complexes on fire by being too close to the actual structure when the couch caught on fire,” Sherwood said.

This couch fire burned in the middle of the street away from buildings. Firefighters doused the couch with water putting out the flames, then raked the debris to the side of the street. 

Couch fire on Hazel street. Photo taken Nov. 27 by Molly Myers.

Chico fireman Layton Carrio has seen “too many to count” when it comes to couch fires. 

Both Sherwood and Carrio said couch burning was part of the culture and tradition of Chico.

“It’s dangerous and it’s a disservice to your community members,” Carrio said. 

The firemen drove away, the couch now soggy and covered in soot. As they pulled away, the group of boys standing on the porch cheered and clapped. 

This is the second couch fire junior public health major Carina Plechaty has seen this month on this very street. 

When she saw the couch on fire, Plechaty thought, “Oh shit, not again.”

Plechaty said it must be difficult for authorities to catch the arsonists. 

“The last time there was one here, they went around knocking on the frat’s doors because they figured it was gonna be a frat, which I’m sure it is,” Plechaty said. 

Couch fires are so common there is a page dedicated to the phenomena on localwiki.

Molly Myers can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Molly Myers, Managing Editor/Features Editor
Molly Myers is a transfer student from Palmdale, California. She is a journalism major also minoring in religious studies. Molly is Managing Editor at The Orion and previously worked as Editor-in-Chief. Her work is also published in Watershed Review. Getting to meet new people and hear their stories is her favorite part of being a journalist. Outside of The Orion she instructs yoga at the WREC and volunteers with the Torres Community Shelter.

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