Fire in north Columbia damages several apartments

Sunday, January 17, 2010 | 7:15 p.m. CST; updated 11:53 a.m. CST, Monday, January 18, 2010
Firefighters from the Boone County Fire Protection District tear away a section of roofing at an apartment building at the 1100 block of N Kathryn* early Sunday afternoon. Division Chief Gale Blomenkamp said the apartment the fire originated in, apartment eight, sustained heavy fire damage. The fire spread laterally, also causing damage in an adjoining apartment, but was under control within 10 minutes of fire crews arriving on scene.

*A previous version of this article incorrectly identified the address of the fire.

COLUMBIA — A Sunday afternoon fire heavily damaged one apartment and caused minor damages to several others at Phenora Apartments, at the 1100 block of N Kathryn*.

Because the building lost electricity, residents of all ten occupied units have been displaced. The Red Cross helped find shelter for residents, said Gale Blomenkamp, Boone County Fire Protection District division chief.

Blomenkamp said firefighters were called to the scene at 12:29 p.m. after a Boone County Sheriff deputy reported that the roof of the building was on fire. The fire was extinguished within ten minutes, he said.

In all, seven trucks responded to the call: two engines, two tankers, one squad, one air truck, and one quint from the Columbia Fire Department.

"Pretty much everything was lost in apartment eight," Blomenkamp said. Apartment eight is where the fire originated. The fire "flashed" there, Blomenkamp said, which means all the contents reached their ignition point and were on fire at the same time.

"We had fire through the back window, the front door and the front window," Blomenkamp said. The fire also burned through the dry wall into apartment seven. Minor fire damages occurred there, and most of the second floor of the apartment building had smoke damage, Blomenkamp said.

Residents will be unable to move back in until electricity to unit eight is isolated so that power can be restored to the rest of the building.

Blomenkamp said he could hear smoke alarms when he arrived on scene. It is unknown whether the smoke alarms in apartment eight worked because damage was so extensive.

There were no injuries. A dog was rescued from an adjacent apartment.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, although it has been ruled accidental, Blomenkamp said. Damage is estimated at $35,000.

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Emily Fitzhugh January 17, 2010 | 9:14 p.m.

That building is not 6224 East Circle Dr, that is 1104 N Kathryn. I know caused I used to live in both of the buildings!!

(Report Comment)
Roseann Moring January 18, 2010 | 11:54 a.m.

Thanks, Emily! We've corrected it.

Roseann Moring
Assistant City Editor

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