Contact: Captain John Metz
Duty PIO Pager 573-441-6608 (For Active Emergency Incidents - Leave detailed message)
Office 573-874-7644 (Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
At 4:37 p.m. Friday, March 22nd, the Columbia Fire Department responded to a reported residential structure fire in the 100 block of Clinkscales Road. 9-1-1 callers reported smoke coming from the roof of the house and the possibility that someone may be trapped inside the home.
Columbia firefighters arrived in three minutes to find a single-story home with heavy smoke coming from the roof and gable attic vents. The presence of two cars parked in the driveway, and the information from the 9-1-1 callers, indicated that someone may have still been inside the residence. Columbia firefighters immediately entered the home and, in zero visibility conditions due to the smoke, searched the house for any occupants while a second crew of firefighters located and extinguished the fire. The fire was under control in approximately ten minutes and no victims were found. Approximately fifteen minutes into the incident the homeowner arrived at the residence and indicated no one was in the house.
One of the 9-1-1 callers, neighbor Scott Mullins, stated he heard his dog barking and looked outside and saw the smoke. He then ran to the house to see if anyone was home while his wife called 9-1-1. Mullins stated he forced the front door of the house open but the smoke was down to floor level. He called out for his neighbor but got no response. It was learned later that the homeowner had left approximately thirty minutes earlier to go to the grocery store.
Assistant Fire Marshal Lt. Lisa Todd investigated the fire and determined it originated in a laundry room electrical outlet. The laundry room was heavily damaged by fire and the rest of the two-bedroom home sustained heavy smoke damage. Preliminary damage estimates for the building and contents is set at $40,000. There were no injuries and no pets were involved. It is unclear if the home had working smoke alarms. The home is uninhabitable and the owner will be staying locally with family. The homeowner indicated he did have homeowner's insurance.
Three fire engines, a ladder truck, and a rescue squad responded to the fire. Units remained on the scene for approximately two hours.