Columbia fire ignited in flowerpot

Thursday, April 28, 2011 | 7:52 p.m. CDT; updated 8:19 p.m. CDT, Thursday, April 28, 2011
Fire Lieutenant Debbie Sorrell inspects the damage that resulted from a fire that originated in a flowerpot on the porch at 2606 Pine Tree Lane on Thursday. No one was injured in the fire.

COLUMBIA — A fire occurred in a flowerpot Thursday.

According to Columbia Fire Department Fire Marshal Debbie Sorrell, the fire started in a flowerpot at 2606 Pine Tree Lane and burned a roughly 30-inch hole in the deck before it crashed through to the patio below.

A faint smell of charred wood and soil spilled across the backyard patio were the only evidence of damage from a distance. A woman, arriving home shortly after the firefighters put out the fire, wept when she saw the mess.

Sorrell did not know the cause of the fire, but she said it was not suspicious. After speaking with the woman inside the home, Sorrell said one possible cause was incense that the family used in morning prayers and afterward put in the flowerpot, believing it would be snuffed out.

The fire caused approximately $5,000 of damage, Sorrell said.

No one was home when the fire started, but neighbors called 911, alerting the fire department at 2:49 p.m. A fire marshal, division chief, battalion chief, Quint 9, Quint 8, Quint 6, Ladder 1 and Squad 3, were dispatched at 2:50, and arrived at 3:03, Sorrell said. Emergency services contacted the owners.

Sorrell cautioned people to watch what they use or throw away in this weather — incense, barbecue or cigarettes.

“It’s awfully windy,” she said.

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