Electrical malfunction blamed for fire at home in north Columbia

Monday, April 20, 2009 | 12:20 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA – An electrical malfunction caused a fire that damaged a north Columbia home Sunday evening, according to a Columbia Fire Department news release. No one was injured.

Fire crews were called to the home at 10:58 p.m. after residents Ashley and Carla Martin used a cup of water to extinguish a small fire near a clothes dryer but discovered more smoke some time later, according to the release.

Within 10 minutes fire crews were able to put out the additional flames inside a bedroom, near the clothes dryer and inside the wall behind the dryer. Fire crews used thermal imaging cameras to make sure there were no more hidden fires in the home.

Fire investigators determined an electrical malfunction in the wall behind the dryer caused the fire, the release states.

Smoke alarms within the home were working and sounding when fire crews arrived.

Damage to the home, which is owned by Kevin Witherspoon, is estimated at $4,000 and was contained to parts of the home near the dryer, according to the release.

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