COLUMBIA — Fire in a house at 1001 W. Old Plank Road caused an estimated $200,000 in damage Thursday afternoon.
Salvador Rico, an employee across the street at Mill Creek Landscaping, along with his coworkers, saw smoke rising from the house and ran inside to tell the secretary to call the fire department.
Flames were shooting from the roof by the time firefighters arrived, Boone County Fire Protection District Chief Scott Olsen said. The fire took about 20 minutes to contain, at which time it was confirmed there were no people or animals inside.
The owner of the house, George Lewis, is away on vacation. His son has been notified of the fire, Olsen said.
Olsen said it looked as though the fire might have started in the garage and spread quickly through the attic, which meant firefighters had to pull down the ceiling to stop the spread. Fifty percent of the house was damaged.
A car in the garage was seriously damaged. The house's basement had no fire or water damage, but there was smoke damage throughout the entire first level of the house.
The official cause of the fire is being investigated but is undetermined at this time, Olsen said.