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      MTU lends a helping hand to fire victims

      A quiet Saturday afternoon turned almost deadly in a matter of moments for four students when their Hancock home engulfed in flames.

      Behind the cloud of smoke, the aftermath is clear. "Everything I own was destroyed, said Anthony Amicangelo, victim of the fire. My guitars, my grill, my freezer, and all my clothes I've ever owned were destroyed in the fire." Anthony said he was away when he got the news, but two of his roommates were inside the house when the flames broke out. "One of them had to kick a window out to get out of the basement, and my other roommate said he was feeling the smoke inhalation; he said it was pretty scary, but thank God that it wasn't at two in the morning when we were all sleeping," Amicangelo said. Officials say the cause is still under investigation.

      Meanwhile, these Tech students found support from their school. The university acted quickly in providing shelter for the students at the Hillside residence hall. "We provided them some money right up front to make sure that they were able to go out and get toiletries and the necessities," said Vice President of Student Affairs at MTU, Les Cook. Books and school supplies lost in the fire have also been replaced. T-shirts and other items poured into the Student Affairs office, the kind of help that extends far beyond money. "Tech is a big family, Cook said. "The whole Houghton and Hancock communities also rally to support our students and help them to be successful as well; you know, everybody cares about our students."

      The students say with the help of Michigan Tech and their homeowners TM insurance, they TMre hoping to get their lives back on track as soon as possible.