Small fire causes little damage in vacant home

Friday, February 21, 2014 | 3:37 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — A small fire at a vacant home near Hickman High School on Friday morning caused no injuries and minimal damage.

Columbia Fire Department Division Chief Jerry Jenkins said the call came in at 7:54 a.m. from a neighbor who saw smoke coming from an abandoned building at 201 Austin Ave. No injuries were reported.

Randy Crosby works across the street at Algiere's Economy Towing. He said he called 911 when he saw thick smoke coming from the front door of the empty home. By the time four firetrucks arrived, Crosby said the smoke had dissipated.

"I was just scared someone was asphyxiating from the smoke," Crosby said. "I didn't want anybody to get hurt."

Crosby said he was worried a homeless person could have been in the building trying to stay warm. One man came out of the house when the trucks arrived, Crosby said.

Some paper on the floor had been set on fire on a section of the carpet at the house, according to a press release from the fire department. Responders found no fire, but the carpet was smoldering. Assistant Fire Marshal Lt. Lisa Todd estimated the damage was $100.

Supervising editor is Zachary Matson.

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