Unfortunately, the many candelabra placed throughout the dorm proved to be its downfall when, on January 22, 1959, a massive and deadly fire was started. Accounts from contemporary dormers indicate that an intoxicated student knocked down a burning candle next to a window, causing the drapes to catch on fire. The inadequate fire suppression systems proved unable to contain the blaze, and the blaze soon spread throughout the entiretly of Old Main. The blaze claimed the life of one of the dorm's 1,100 residents. Bricks salvaged from the fire were used to build the Chapel of Memories Bricks from Old Main were also dumped in the area that became the band practice field and can be seen on slope of the north side.