COLUMBIA – James Curry thought the neighbors were just burning yard waste when he smelled smoke Wednesday afternoon in a north Columbia neighborhood. Then he heard glass breaking and knew something was wrong.
Curry, who had been hired by residents of the neighborhood to do yard work, was outside at the time of the fire. By the time he had run inside to tell someone to call 911, it was too late.
"There were flames coming out of the windows," he said of the house at 3950 Creasy Springs Road.
Fire crews were dispatched at 3:47 p.m. Authorities at the Boone County Fire Protection District estimate the damage to be around $180,000.
No one was inside the home at the time of the fire, which originated in the living room, fire authorities said. The blaze was caused by an extension cord failure.
The U.S. Fire Administration website reports that on average, home electrical problems cause 28,600 fires and $1.1 billion in property losses in the U.S. every year. Learn what you can do to protect your home on the USFA website.