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Hundreds of CMU students watch, chant as couch burns in Mount Pleasant street early Sunday

On the eve of exam week, hundreds of students watched a couch burn early Sunday morning at the intersection of Franklin and Gaylord streets in Mount Pleasant.

A large fire engulfs two couches and a mattress at the intersection of Franklin and Gaylord streets. (Courtesy: Coldwater senior Josh Beckhusen)

A large fire engulfs two couches and a mattress at the intersection of Franklin and Gaylord streets. (Courtesy: Coldwater senior Josh Beckhusen)

Detroit senior Nolan Legr said he and his friends were coming back from downtown when they first noticed the fire.

“When we got back from the Blackstone, I saw this thing engulfed in flames, and hundreds and hundreds of people were acting like banshees around it,” Legr said. “One of the best moments in my life. Central came back for a quick moment.”

Legr said he started to cheer with the others while chanting sayings such as “Eric Fisher, Eric Fisher!” and “Fire Up Chips.”

Sometime between midnight and 1 a.m., a crowd of students showed how fired up they were by setting two couches and a mattress on fire, Legr said.

Josh Beckhusen, a Coldwater senior, recorded some of the event on his phone and said when the police arrived 15 minutes later, some of the spectators were put in handcuffs.

“It was by far the craziest thing I’ve seen since my freshman year,” Beckhusen said. “I think it was a combination of this being the last week for some of us, Fisher getting No. 1 (in the NFL Draft) and alcohol.”

The majority of the residents on the block are seniors, Beckhusen said. Within the first few minutes of the fire, people could be seen running toward the fire coming all the way over from Lansing and Fancher streets, he said.

“There were over 200 and 300 people there,” Beckhusen said. “I remember seeing a kid’s shoes on fire, with smoke coming off them. Today, there has been a lot of people driving by to look at what’s left.”

All debris from the night before has been removed with only a black scorch mark by a curb remaining. The YouTube video posted online by another Central Michigan University student has received more than 4,900 views and several comments.

Rochester Hills sophomore Dean Smith was one of the students put into handcuffs but was only detained while everything was being sorted out and was not arrested.

“Everyone was standing around chanting but moved to the four corners (of the intersection) when the police showed up,” Smith said. “I was standing at the door and was told to get everyone out of the house, and then two cops came up, and one grabbed me by the shirt and pulled me out of the house.”

Only one of the houses on the block received a ticket for a nuisance party because bottles were seen being thrown from the porch, Smith said.

“No one else received any tickets except for the one house where a bottle was said to have been thrown from,” Smith said. “I talked to the rest of the houses, and they didn’t get in trouble.”

Smith said he saw a state trooper, the Mount Pleasant Police Department and CMU police.

“It was the greatest night of my life,” Smith said. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

The Mount Pleasant police and fire departments could not be reached for comment as of Sunday evening.


  1. Classy Central…

  2. In this story, two students who may some day regret going on the record

  3. there was tribal police as well

  4. I remember my first time burning a couch…

  5. Greg Morris says:

    CMU students have never been bright enough to understand the difference between a party and a riot. “It was the greatest night of my life,” one young man is reputed to have said. How terribly sad.

  6. So…we’re MSU now? Cause that’s the brand of stupidity that goes on there.

    And someone needs to check on how Dean Smith got into CMU. I know there’s special exceptions that are made on the race and gender of people in considering them for admission but I don’t think it should be made for obviously low intelligence/possibly (probably) mentally handicapped. He did in fact say it was the ‘greatest night of his life’….which also leads me to believe the kid has never been laid.

    • What does this have to do with his intelligence? Or how he got into the school? And for (supposably) going to College- you need to grow up.

    • kate Upton says:

      Never been laid… Ha! Dean Smith pulls 9s and 10s at a minimum, including myself. The reason this was “the greatest night of his life” was because he’s so accustomed to a rock star lifestyle that this was a nice change of pace. He felt like an average human being for one night.

    • You clearly don’t know what your talking about and don’t know Dean Smith So I won’t waste and more of my time on you

    • x-Man hater says:

      get a life

    • Smash Patriarchy says:

      Dude, Dean Smith is a CMU hero. I’ll never forget the first time I partied with him. He was all strung out on adrenaline and poon, stinking of musk. We partied for a solid 68 hours before Dean declared “This bores me. I shall now retire to my quarters.” He then promptly entered the nearest bedroom, threw out the occupant sleeping in it, and was followed in by at least 8 women. It was a fun time.

    • Anonymous says:

      this does not reflect a person at all – 97% of people put into that situation are going to enjoy it. I mean, how often is a lifetime are you going to be apart of that?

  7. Christ people, grow a sense of humor, or a sense of excitement, or something. Of course it’s a drunken stupid idea, but thankfully, no one got hurt and it was a 100% victimless crime. And EVERY CMU alum who watched the youtube video totally wished they would have been there. Anyone who says otherwise is an effing liar. Sometimes we need a little chaos. It reminds us that we’re human and makes us feel alive.

  8. Why can’t anyone be happy for people having fun, nothing went wrong! We are you and wreckless kids in the prime of our lives so just let us do what we want!

  9. So, a couple bed bugs got burned. That’s really the only way to get rid of ‘em.

  10. x-Man hater says:

    party hater

  11. This makes CMU look bad.

    • Chippawhy? says:

      and that’s why it’s important. and that’s why it wasn’t harmless. I want my degree to reflect the work I put into it, not the reputation CMU sometimes deserves. This isn’t helping.

  12. Captain Solo says:

    I strolled onto the scene. My cutoff Skynyrd shirt perfectly framing my glistening guns, fresh from a swoll sesh at the SAC. That’s when I saw it. Sparkling int the night sky. “C-M-U” “C-M-U”. I felt the spirit of the mighty Chippewa pulsing through my dilated veins. Running my hand through my perfectly greased golden hair I knew…. I was an American.

  13. fairandbalanced says:

    all these negative nancies espousing that this makes cmu look bad obvioulsy are not in touch with reality. if anything burning couches is a recruitment tool, every great college has had a few couches dissapear in a ball of flames. The real reputation of CMU that gets outside CM life is based on academics, sport success and the safety of our town. I say Fire Up!!

  14. You guys act like this was the worst thing to happen to Central. It’s not like cars and buildings were being burnt down just a few couches and a mattress to celebrate eric fisher being drafted #1. The city wasn’t destroyed like East Lansing after MSU won the basketball championship years ago.

    • Ron Burgundy says:

      Let’s keep in mind they use to flip cars over and burn Shit back in the day, i say be happy it was just a couch. FIRE UP

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