North Columbia home severely damaged by barbecue grill fire

Sunday, June 17, 2012 | 12:32 p.m. CDT; updated 4:40 p.m. CDT, Sunday, June 17, 2012

COLUMBIA — A fire that started in a barbecue grill on an outside patio caused severe damage to the adjoining home in north Columbia on Saturday night.

Two people were at home at the time of the fire, but no one was injured, Captain John Metz of the Columbia Fire Department said.

The owner of the single-story home said they had just finished eating when they noticed the grill on the outside patio was on fire, which then spread to the roof and the siding very quickly, according to a news release from the department.

Firefighters responded to the fire at 9:51 p.m. in the 400 block of Amazon Drive, according to the news release.

Metz said the crew arrived at the scene three minutes after being alerted of the fire. Three fire engines, a ladder truck, a rescue squad and 16 firefighters responded to the fire, Metz said.

Metz said the crew from Columbia Fire Station Nine could see flames in the distance when turning out of the station at Blue Ridge Road and Providence Road — three-fourths of a mile away from the residence, which is near the intersection of Amazon Drive and Bamboo Drive.

The news release said the crew arrived on the scene and found a large amount of fire coming from the roof vents and rear of the home. The fire was under control within 30 minutes of the firefighters' arrival, Metz said.

Columbia Assistant Fire Marshal Lt. Tim Bach investigated the fire and determined the barbecue grill was the cause.

Metz said the fire rendered the house uninhabitable because crews removed a majority of the ceilings while extinguishing the blaze and searching for remaining fires hidden amid the attic insulation. The residents are currently staying with friends, he said.

Damage for the fire was estimated at $90,000, Metz said.

The National Fire Protection Association reports that there are approximately 8,000 home fires involving barbecue grills on average every year, leading to $75 million in property damage, according to the release.

Supervising editor is Dan Burley.

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