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UPDATE: House fire causes $60,000 in damages

Embers from a barbecue grill that lit fallen leaves underneath it have been cited as the cause of the fire
Friday, November 5, 2010 | 10:33 a.m. CDT; updated 3:38 p.m. CDT, Friday, November 5, 2010

*This story has been updated to include the cause of the fire, which had been under investigation until Friday afternoon.

COLUMBIA — Fire engulfed the attic of a house at 5510 Arrowwood Drive in northeast Columbia on Thursday night, causing $60,000 worth of damage, according to a City of Columbia news release. 

When homeowners Barri Bumgarmer and Marsha Tyson saw an orange glow in their backdoor window, they tried to use a portable fire extinguisher to stop the fire from spreading, according to the release.

But the fire, which began outside around 7:25 p.m., found a way to the attic by the roof eaves.

Firefighters arrived on the scene four minutes after receiving a call about the fire, according to the release. They put out the fire in 15 minutes but spent 2 1/2 hours removing much of the interior ceiling to ensure there was no hidden fire.

The smoke detectors failed to alert the homeowners because the fire started from outside the house. 

The homeowners and their two dogs were safe. Tyson inhaled some smoke as she was trying to extinguish the fire but was not sent to the hospital.

*The fire department said the fire started when hot embers fell from a barbecue grill  and ignited fallen leaves underneath it. The flames spread to the siding on the house and up to the attic via the eaves. .


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