COLUMBIA — A fire that heavily damaged a Columbia home Wednesday morning was the latest setback for the family that lived there.
The fire, which investigators think was intentionally set, caused an estimated $150,000 in damage to the house of Samantha Baker Fitzmorris at 2107 Dickinson Court, near Brown School and Oakland Gravel roads in northeast Columbia.
John Baker, Fitzmorris' father, said his daughter left Tuesday for Colorado Springs, Colo., to visit friends. Her son, Joshua, 5, and daughter, Mykenzee, 3, were in Alabama visiting their late father’s family, Baker said this morning at the scene.
Fancy, the Fitzmorrises' pit bull, died in the garage of smoke inhalation.
Fitzmorris is the widow of Steven Fitzmorris. Baker said Steven Fitzmorris died in August 2008 in Baghdad while serving in the Army.
Samantha Baker Fitzmorris is a Columbia native and an alumna of Hickman High School, Baker said.
Capt. Eric Hartman of the Columbia Fire Department said there were “significant indications that the house was burglarized.”
Baker said a flat-screen television had been ripped from the wall of his daughter's bedroom.
Police spokeswoman Jessie Haden said the fire was reported at about 4 a.m. by a police officer. Six fire trucks, an ambulance and 20 firefighters responded.
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