Man helps older resident escape from Columbia house fire

Monday, May 14, 2012 | 7:36 p.m. CDT; updated 6:13 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Firefighters respond to a house fire at 5:54 p.m. Monday at the intersection of Fifth and Lyon streets in Columbia. An older man who lives at the house was treated for smoke inhalation.

*UPDATE: This story was updated to include that a female passerby also helped assist the resident of the home. Also, fire officials estimated damages near $50,000.

COLUMBIA — A man and woman* made their way into a house that caught fire Monday evening and helped its older resident escape, Battalion Chief James Weaver said.

The Columbia Fire Department responded to a house fire at 405 N. Fifth St. within minutes of the call. Firefighters were contacted at 5:52 p.m. and were on-site by 5:54 p.m. to extinguish the fire and assist the older resident.

Weaver said flames and smoke were visible from the rear of the house when they arrived. The resident, an older man, had already made it outside with the assistance of a younger man who had gone in multiple times to help him escape.

After the fire was extinguished there was noticeable damage to the back side of the house. The side paneling was peeled away, and portions of the external wall were incinerated. The front of the house remained visibly undamaged.

Both men were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. No one was transported to the hospital.

Because the two were in treatment, the Fire Department was not able to release the names of either men at the scene, Weaver said. The cause of the firewas improperly disposed of smoking materials. A preliminary damage estimate totaled $50,000, according to a news release.*

Four units were deployed, and 14 firefighters were at the scene.

Supervising editor is Ted Hart.

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