Fire displaces residents from duplex in northeast Columbia

Friday, December 20, 2013 | 4:27 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — An early-morning fire left a duplex in northeast Columbia uninhabitable Friday.

The blaze started shortly before 4:30 a.m. at 755 Demaret Drive. Combustible materials on top of the dryer near the flue pipe caught fire, said Battalion Chief Gale Blomenkamp of the Boone County Fire Protection District.

"The fire started in the laundry room … and traveled across the ceiling into the kitchen, where it caught a curtain on fire," he said.

Five people lived in the duplex, all of whom were present at the time of the fire, Blomenkamp said, but no one was harmed. It took firefighters about 10 minutes to extinguish the blaze.

Smoke and heat damage left the structure uninhabitable, though, and the America Red Cross is giving the displaced residents financial assistance for food, clothing and a temporary motel stay, according to a Red Cross news release.

Six units from the Fire District were sent to the scene. The fire caused an estimated $50,000 in damage, Blomenkamp said.

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