Small fire in central Columbia slows morning traffic

Tuesday, June 3, 2008 | 3:57 p.m. CDT; updated 9:56 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

COLUMBIA — Two central Columbia residents, Mareta Hatton and Sergio Turner, awoke to the sound of arcing, popping power lines that led to a fire in their home early Tuesday morning, according to the Columbia Fire Department.

Hatton called 911 and firefighters came at about 6:30 a.m. to their home at 409 N. Providence Road and found a small fire by cabinets in the house.

Battalion Chief Gary Warren Jr. said in a news release that a notebook lying near an electrical junction box caught fire after an electrical surge. The surge had been caused by a tree branch falling on a nearby power line. The branch pulled the line away from the house and caused the arcing.

The firefighters put out the small fire without much damage, Warren said. An early estimate was $5,000, but Warren said the estimate might go down since the major extent of damage was charred cabinets.

Five fire trucks responded to the call. One southbound lane of Providence Road, across from Douglass Park, was shut down for just over an hour Tuesday morning because of the fire, the release said.

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