Thursday, 24 February 2005

THE ESOTERIC Lose $20,000 Worth Of Equipment In Fire - Feb. 23, 2005

"We're very thankful to be standing here right now because it was close," said Marshall Kilpatrick, who fled the house with fellow band member Steve Cruz about 3 a.m.

Cruz said he was watching the director's cut of "Donnie Darko" in his room when he first smelled "something horrible."

He discovered flames and thick smoke creeping from the basement into the kitchen and alerted housemate Kilpatrick.

"I was in bed, and I just remember Steve yelling, ‘There's a fire! Get up! Run!'" Kilpatrick said. "The minute I step out my door this flame just comes barreling though. ... I just ducked and ran."

The fire, the cause of which remains unknown, was extinguished about 5:40 a.m. by a crew of 17 firefighters. Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical Deputy Chief Mark Bradford estimated damage to the dwelling at $175,000.

"I doubt seriously that it can be reconstructed," Bradford said of the house. "We'll continue our investigation, and once it is concluded the scene will be turned back over to the homeowner."

Other band members are Eric Graves and Cory White. Though the band was still tallying its losses, Graves estimated about $20,000 worth of equipment was irreparably damaged in the fire, including nearly a dozen guitars and an Apple G3 computer.

"We still have a van," Graves said, referring to the unscathed tour vehicle parked in a driveway adjacent to the house.

The band also lost a large catalog of recordings housed on hard drives of damaged computers.

In addition to band equipment, the tenants lost all of their personal belongings.

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