Apartment fire temporarily displaces residents

Thursday, October 13, 2011 | 5:57 p.m. CDT; updated 6:13 p.m. CDT, Thursday, October 13, 2011

COLUMBIA — A fire late Thursday morning left a single-story duplex on the west side of town uninhabitable, but no one was injured.

Kirk Ammons and Bryce Richardson, who lived in the apartment, reported the fire when they smelled smoke and noticed a haze forming inside. They called 911 and left the building, which is at 1611 Radcliffe Drive.

The apartment had working fire alarms, which went off as the men left.

Columbia Fire Department crews responded to the call at 11:17 a.m. Thursday.

They arrived to find smoke coming from the duplex. They discovered a fire in the ceiling and attic and were able to control it in about 15 minutes, according to a news release from the department.

Five fire trucks and two support vehicles responded, Captain John Metz said.

The building suffered approximately $7,500 in damage. Damage was contained mostly to the kitchen, hallway and attic. The adjoining apartment was unoccupied and had no damage.

Firefighters determined the fire originated in electrical wiring in the attic of the apartment, according to the release. The apartment will not be fit to live in until it has been repaired.

The apartment is a rental property owned by Real Estate Management Inc. The company's owner, Mark Stevenson, said the residents have renters insurance. They were offered housing, but they chose to stay with friends.

Both an electrician and a cleanup crew started repairing the building today, Stevenson said.

“We plan on getting the house prepared as rapidly as possible,” he said.

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