Firefighters respond to 2 house fires in one hour Saturday night

Sunday, June 29, 2008 | 5:28 p.m. CDT; updated 12:14 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

COLUMBIA — No injuries were reported in two separate fires that occurred within an hour of each other Saturday night, a Columbia Fire Department news release said. At 9:09 p.m., firefighters received a report of an apartment fire at 711 Hulen Drive.

Rescue crews removed the apartment’s only occupant, who was uninjured. The fire was contained to the living room and was quickly put out. Damage to the property owned by Newton Riley of Columbia is estimated to be $2,000, the release said. The cause of the fire was cited as “careless smoking,” the release said.

The second fire was called in at 9:57 p.m. by neighbors, who were alerted by a motorist of heavy smoke coming from 2002 Hanover Blvd. Upon arrival, fire crews rescued a pet bulldog from the home. Firefighters found and contained flames in both the garage and attic, the release said. They later used thermal imaging cameras to check for other possible hidden fires throughout the property.

The entire home suffered smoke damage and cost is estimated to be $25,000, the release said. Owners Jeff and Jennifer Colborn were not home at the time of the fire. As of Sunday afternoon, the cause of the fire was unknown.

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