Children escape afternoon duplex fire

Saturday, October 3, 2009 | 3:04 p.m. CDT; updated 3:54 p.m. CDT, Saturday, October 3, 2009
Columbia and Boone County fire officials battled a residential fire at 5101 Silver Mill Drive on Saturday afternoon. The duplex is the home of Gisell and Kelly Ballenger and their three sons. There were no injuries, and the adjoining duplex suffered no damage.

COLUMBIA — A fire caused extensive damage to a duplex on Silver Mill Drive on Saturday afternoon, but three kids escaped unharmed.

The three children, ages 8, 11 and 14, were in the duplex at the time of the fire, Columbia Fire Department Capt. Eric Hartman said.

Hartman said there was originally a 911 hang-up call from the residence at 12:45 p.m., and when the operator called back, fire alarms could be heard.

Five fire engines from the Fire Department and one from the Boone County Fire Protection District arrived at the scene to find flames shooting out of the building, Hartman said. The fire was contained in 20 minutes.

Hartman said there was heat, water and smoke damage throughout the residence. The other half of the duplex was not damaged.

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