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Fire Victim's Mother Shares Her Story

Contact: Carl Nathe

Photo of Student residence hall advisers getting hands on experience during UK fire safety training.
Student residence hall advisers get hands-on experience during UK fire safety training.

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In Kentucky, Minger’s impassioned lobbying efforts resulted in the General Assembly’s passage of the Michael Minger Act, which requires colleges and universities to report immediately any and all fires to the state fire marshal.

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August 19, 2003 (Lexington, Ky.) -- Losing her son, Michael, in a campus residence hall fire at Murray State University in 1998 made Gail Minger determined to see that his tragic death would not be in vain. Since that time, she has worked tirelessly in Kentucky and nationally for the cause of campus fire safety.

Minger addressed University of Kentucky student residence hall directors and advisers, together with other staff and students, as part of UK’s fire safety awareness training in preparation for the imminent return of thousands of students to campus.

“I have spoken in Washington to a Senate committee, and at other national venues to get the message out about fire education and safety for all students,” said Minger. “I refer to the college community as our nation’s future. It has become a part of my life’s work since Michael’s death.”

In Kentucky, Minger’s impassioned lobbying efforts resulted in the General Assembly’s passage of the Michael Minger Act, which requires colleges and universities to report immediately any and all fires to the state fire marshal.

Minger recounted the circumstances of her son’s tragic death and told her UK audience, “It can happen to anyone. Michael would want me to do all I could to make sure that students across the Commonwealth have the very best chance at having a future and having their dreams come true.”

At UK, the Office of Residence Life requires student residence hall directors and advisers to undergo a week-long training program in all aspects of student life, including fire safety, residence hall security, student rights and responsibilities, and more. All UK residence halls are equipped with sprinkler systems.


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