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Arsonist targets Fourth Avenue house for second time in 10 days

Friday, December 12, 2008 | 11:51 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA — For the second time in 10 days, an arsonist set fire to a vacant home at 12 Fourth Ave., according to a Columbia Fire Department news release.

At 11:44 p.m. Thursday, firefighters responded to a report of the fire. When crews arrived, they found smoke and flames coming from the rear of the vacant home.

The home, owned by Raymond and Charlotte Boothe, sustained significant fire damage at the rear of the building and moderate smoke damage throughout the entire home. There were no injuries, and damage is estimated at $18,000, according to the release. A previous release stated damage from the first fire was estimated at $3,000 to $5,000.

The first fire that occurred on Dec. 1 was also ruled intentional.

Capt. Eric Hartman said the department has several leads but could not provide  more information.

This fire is the fourth intentionally set structure fire in the same area of central Columbia in just over one month, according to the release.

The Columbia Fire Department is asking anyone who observed any suspicious vehicles or people in the area of Fourth Avenue or the intersection at 7 Sexton Road around 11:30 to 11:45 p.m to call Crime Stoppers at 875-TIPS.


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