Duplex fire marks third in 24 hours

Sunday, December 21, 2008 | 4:48 p.m. CST; updated 5:05 p.m. CST, Sunday, December 21, 2008

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Fire Department responded to a duplex fire on Saturday evening, making it the third house fire in a 24-hour period, a Fire Department news release states.

At 8:15 p.m. Saturday, fire crews were called to 1412 Barnwood Drive, after the occupants left the home when the smoke alarms sounded, and they saw heavy smoke at the top of the home's stairs.

The home's resident, Patrick Cook, his fiancée and child escaped the home without any injuries.

The fire, located in an upstairs bedroom, was brought under control within 15 minutes, the release states.

The duplex, owned by Tony LeBarge, suffered severe fire damage in the bedroom, as well as moderate smoke, heat and water damage throughout. Damage was initially estimated at $30,000, according to the release.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The Fire Department dispatched a van to provide Cook and his family temporary relief from the cold.

Of the three structure fires, this was the second in which smoke alarms provided residents with the first warning. Both incidents occurred with small children present.

On Friday night, a home in the 1500 block of Olympic Boulevard suffered an estimated $40,000 in damages from a fire.

Early Saturday morning, a home on the 1800 block of Worley Street suffered an estimated $175,000 in damage from a fire.

No one suffered life-threatening injuries in either fires, according to a prior department news release.

Residents can contact the department at 201 Orr Street or the Columbia Professional Fire Fighters Local 1055 at 823-6942 for a free smoke alarm.

Basic fire safety tips can be viewed at the department’s Web site.

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