Someone tried to ignite leaking gas and blow up a fraternity house at UC Davis on Sunday as members slept inside, officials said.
Residents of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity reported smelling natural gas around 1 a.m. Sunday. According to an alert posted by the college, someone deliberately caused the leak and then tried to ignite the gas with “several residents” inside.
“We smelled the gas, and we knew something was up,” Fredy Aguilar, vice president of the fraternity, told Fox 40.
The explosion would have taken out the house and damaged surrounding properties, officials said.
“I really just want to know why they would wish us harm,” fraternity President Npa Kywi said. "I don’t feel we’ve done anything to deserve this.”
About 50 people had attended an invite-only Halloween party earlier that night, Kywi said, adding that most everyone had left by 11 p.m. CBS Sacramento reported that the frat house was unlocked overnight, which is how authorities believe the perpetrator gained access.
Investigators on Monday were trying to find a motive behind the attempted arson.
Police, meanwhile, warned all student groups to be vigilant about suspicious activity in the wake of the incident. Davis police officers were stationed near the fraternity overnight to keep watch. But the incident had clearly rattled the nerves of fraternity brothers.
“It’s really stressful to know,” Aguilar told Fox 40. “It’s really hard to sleep now.”
Anyone with information about the incident was asked to call Davis police at (530) 747-5400.