COLUMBIA — A fire caused by an unattended deep-fat fryer sent one man to the hospital and caused significant damage to a home at 200 Oak St. on Wednesday night, according to a release from the Columbia Fire Department. Columbia firefighters were dispatched to the home at 10:44 p.m., and emergency crews arrived to find smoke and fire at the front of the house.
According to the news release, police officers who arrived at the scene used a fire extinguisher from a patrol car to suppress flames long enough to rescue Manuel Douglas, 50, whom they found inside the front door before firefighters arrived.
Paramedics transported Douglas to University Hospital, where he was admitted to the George Peak Burn Center for evaluation. Douglas suffered minor burns to his fingers and was treated for minor smoke inhalation.
Investigators determined the fire originated in the living room and was caused by a small deep-fat fryer near the sofa. Douglas told investigators he had been cooking before falling asleep on his sofa.
The fire caused an estimated $50,000 in damage. The kitchen, hallway and living room sustained significant fire damage, and the remainder of the home sustained smoke and heat damage. There were no working smoke alarms in the home, officials said.