*This story has been updated to include additional information about the cause of the fire and damage estimates. It also clarifies who called in the fire.
COLUMBIA — A house in northwest Columbia was significantly damaged in a fire Thursday morning. No one was injured.
Ten trucks and one ambulance responded to a 911 call placed at 10:35 a.m., and firefighters arrived at the residence at 10:42 a.m., said Josh Creamer, captain with the Boone County Fire Protection District. Martina Pounds, a captain with the Fire District, said the homeowner, the only person who had been in the house, called in the fire. Once he left the house, no one was in the building.
Around 11:30 a.m., the right side of the residence was still in flames, the roof had collapsed, and smoke was billowing from the building. The front and one side of the building bore black scorch marks. Firefighters busted open a second-floor window in the home, set up a ladder to enter the building and were attacking the fire from the upper floor.
Firefighters were using water and a foam additive to help put out the fire more quickly, Creamer said. He said that immediately after firefighters arrived, the roof along the right side of the building collapsed.
Pounds said that it took firefighters 45 minutes to get the fire under control and that they left the scene at 2 p.m. She said it took longer to put the fire out because of windy conditions and because the fire had reached the attic by the time they arrived.
Gale Blomenkamp of the Fire District said in a news release that the fire originated on the front porch and likely was caused by the heat lamp in the doghouse. From there, the fire traveled to the eaves of the house and then to the attic
Blomenkamp said the fire had been ruled accidental and the estimated damage was $250,000.
Creamer said firefighters did not know whether there were any smoke alarms in the residence but an investigation would be pursued.
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