Electric fire causes $100,000 damage at a shop in southeast Columbia

Sunday, January 6, 2013 | 4:30 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — A fire started by an extension cord caused an estimated damage of more than $100,000 at a shop in southeast Columbia, Southern Boone County Public Information Officer Price Nichols said. 

Firefighters from both Southern Boone County and Boone County Fire Protection Districts responded to the fire at 6:24 a.m. Sunday.  

The first units on the scene reported the structure at 8703 U.S. 63 was already burned down, at which point firefighters prioritized the safety of the outlying buildings, namely a house 50 feet away, Nichols said. 

"We got lucky. If the wind had been blowing out of the east and to the south a bit, it probably would have caught the house on fire, too," Nichols said. 

Southern Boone County Fire Protection District Investigator Michael Bower determined the fire to be caused by an extension cord plugged into a heat lamp for chickens, Nichols said.

"Two poor chickens did unfortunately lose their lives," Nichols said.

The building was 40 by 60 feet and housed hand tools, a lawn mower and other basic shop tools, Nichols said.

Southern Boone County Fire Protection District had two engines, two tankers and a squad respond to the fire. Boone County Fire Protection District had an engine, tanker and air truck respond. There were no injuries.  

Supervising editor is Simina Mistreanu.

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