Contact: Battalion Chief John Metz
Duty PIO Pager 573-441-6608 (For Active Emergency Incidents - Leave detailed message)
Office 573-874-7644 (M-F, 8-5)
At 10:39 p.m. on January 26, 2014 the Columbia Fire Department responded to a possible structure fire at 607 Washington Avenue in central Columbia. The homeowner reported smoke in the residence and a dark discoloration on a spare bedroom ceiling.
Columbia firefighters arrived on the scene at 10:43 to find smoke and small flames coming from the eaves of the single-story, approximately 1300 square foot residence. Firefighters removed a large section of drywall ceiling and, with a single hose line, extinguished the fire in the attic. Firefighters remained on the scene for more than two hours extinguishing hot spots and removing smoldering cellulose insulation from the attic.
Columbia Fire Investigator Lt. Tim Bach determined the cause of the fire was an unknown electrical malfunction in the attic wiring. Damage to the structure and contents is estimated at $25,000. Attic rafters sustained significant fire damage. The home had working smoke alarms. There were no injuries.
The home is uninhabitable until repairs are made. The two adult occupants of home plan to stay with friends.
Three engines, a ladder truck and a rescue squad responded to the incident. Washington Avenue, between Hickman Avenue and Dysart Street, was closed for approximately two hours during the incident.
The Columbia Fire Department wants to remind residents that working smoke alarms do save lives. Test your smoke alarms at least once a month by pressing the test button. Replace smoke alarm batteries at least once a year. Replace smoke alarms every 10 years. To ensure adequate protection, place smoke alarms in every sleeping room, and in a common area on every floor.