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 8:36 p.m. on Wednesday, May 07, 2014 the Columbia Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire at 2706 Quail Drive, Apartment B in northeast Columbia. Multiple 9-1-1 callers report smoke coming from building.
Columbia Firefighters arrived on the scene at 8:39 and found heavy fire venting from two rear bedroom windows of the single-story duplex with a walk-out basement. The first arriving firefighters knocked the fire down from the exterior while another fire crew entered the front door, located the remaining fire in a back bedroom, and extinguished the blaze. It took approximately fifteen minutes to control the blaze.
The occupants of the duplex, a 26-year-old female and her two young children, discovered the fire and evacuated the building prior to the fire department's arrival. Apartment B of the duplex, where the fire originated, sustained heavy smoke, heat, and fire damage. Neighboring Apartment A sustained a strong smoke odor but no fire or heat damage. Smoke alarms were present and operational in the apartment. There were no injuries.
"Our crews did a good job attacking the fire and stopping it before it could spread to the neighboring apartment" said Fire Battalion Chief John Metz. "We are estimating the damage to be approximately $55,000 to the structure and contents" Metz said. Both apartments are uninhabitable until repairs can be made. The American Red Cross is providing emergency assistance to the displaced occupants. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Three fire engines, a ladder truck, and a rescue squad responded to the incident. Fire crews remained on the scene for more than three hours overhauling the damage to ensure no smoldering embers remained.
The Columbia Fire Department reminds 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.