Contact: Battalion Chief John Metz
Duty PIO Pager 573-441-6608 (For Active Emergency Incidents - Leave detailed message 7:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.)
Office 573-874-7644 (M-F, 8-5)
At 1:17 p.m. Thursday, July 10, 2014 the Columbia Fire Department responded to a structure fire at the Keeneland Downs Apartments at 8 North Keene Street. The 9-1-1 caller reported smelling smoke and then hearing a smoke alarm sounding from an upstairs apartment.
Columbia firefighters arrived on the scene at 1:23 p.m. to find light smoke coming from a second floor apartment in the eight-unit, two story apartment building. Fire crews entered the apartment and found the remnants of a cooking fire in the kitchen of the unit. The fire self-extinguished.
Firefighters and EMS encountered the lone occupant of the apartment, a 77-year-old male, who had sustained moderate burns from a pan of heated oil. The oil appears to have overheated and caught fire. The occupant attempted to remove the pan from the range and dropped it on the floor. The gentleman was transported by ambulance with non-life threatening burns to the University Hospital.
The fire damaged the cabinets above the electric range and there was light smoke damage to the apartment. The cause of the fire was determined to be a cooking fire and damage was estimated at $6500.
The Columbia Fire Department reminds residents to always be cautious when frying food or heating cooking oil. Cooking fires are the leading cause of house fires in Columbia.
Three fire engines, a ladder, and a rescue squad responded to the incident. Crews were on scene for approximately one hour.