Apartment fire might have been caused by unattended cooking

Saturday, March 14, 2009 | 4:21 p.m. CDT; updated 4:55 p.m. CDT, Saturday, March 14, 2009

COLUMBIA — An apartment fire in central Columbia on Friday appears to be related to unattended cooking, according to a Columbia Fire Department news release. No one was injured in the afternoon fire.

At 4:20 p.m., fire crews responded to a reported fire in Apartment G at 319 N. Garth Ave. An assistant fire marshal arrived on the scene immediately after dispatch and reported heavy smoke coming from the west end of the complex. The marshal reported that someone might still have been in the apartment.

After arriving, fire crews located the fire in the apartment’s kitchen and quickly extinguished it. Crews searched both levels of the apartment and could not locate anyone inside the building.

Fire crews located the apartment’s resident, whose name is not available, after completing the search.

The apartment sustained heavy fire damage to the kitchen and smoke damage on both levels. A damage estimate was not available as of Saturday afternoon, Battalion Chief Gary Warren said. No other apartments were affected.

According to the release, the apartments did not have automatic sprinklers because they were constructed before code required the devices.

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