UPDATE: Fire damages Columbia man's home

Friday, February 25, 2011 | 12:01 p.m. CST; updated 12:08 p.m. CST, Friday, February 25, 2011
Columbia firefighters carry a cat around the front of the house at 1810 Brandeis Court, which caught fire today. The cat was rescued from inside the house as firefighters finished extinguishing the fire.

COLUMBIA — A fire engulfed a south Columbia home Thursday morning. The homeowner, John McMinn, was in the house at the time of the fire and left the property uninjured.

Columbia Fire Department received a report of a fire at 1810 Brandeis Court at 11:48 a.m. When firefighters arrived, flames were coming through the roof. It took about 20 minutes to put out the fire, according to a news release.


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The fire did not damage surrounding structures. Fire Battalion Chief James Weaver said six units initially responded to the fire, but one was sent back.

Investigators estimated $250,000 in damages, according to the release. Some of McMinn's belongings were moved to a neighbor's garage.

The attic and part of the house's upper floor were the most damaged.

McMinn's dog and two cats were in the house with him when the fire started. The dog left the house with McMinn, and firefighters rescued one cat. The other cat did not survive.

A neighbor said photo albums were pulled out of the basement. The neighbor also said that the owner is insured, and quite a bit of the downstairs area of the home was saved.

A smoke alarm alerted McMinn to the fire. According to the release, McMinn said he was in his room watching TV and heard what sounded like things falling off shelves. When he heard his smoke detectors, he left the house. He saw flames in the sunroom on his way out.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to the release.

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