Hallsville house fire causes estimated $150,000 in damage

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 | 5:37 p.m. CST; updated 10:03 p.m. CST, Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Phil Crane, son of the resident's owner, talks to John Wilke, a fire investigator for the Boone County Fire Protection District on Wednesday. Firefighters were dispatched to 6276 Brooke Drive in Hallsville after a neighbor reported a fire.

*An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled the last name of Boone County Fire Protection District Fire Capt. Martina Pounds in one usage.

COLUMBIA — A fire engulfed the attic of a Hallsville residence on Wednesday afternoon, causing an estimated $150,000 in damage, according to Boone County Fire Protection District Fire Capt. Martina Pounds.

No one was injured in the fire.

The residents of the home at 6276 Brooke Drive in Hallsville — a woman and her two children — were not there when the fire started, but county firefighters found a small dog inside the home, Pounds said. The dog was rescued and had no injuries.

A neighbor reported smoke coming from the house. When the first unit arrived at the scene at approximately 1:20 p.m., the firefighters saw light smoke coming from the outside of the home, Pounds said.

The firefighters entered through the side door of the garage and saw flames. They also saw discoloration on the ceiling and found smoke. The source of the fire was in the attic, Pounds said.

A furnace malfunction was the cause of the fire, according to Pounds.

It took firefighters approximately 45 minutes to extinguish the fire.

"The reason it took quite a while was because it ran through the ceiling," Pounds* said. "Once it gets up in the attic, it’s really hard for us to stop it real quick because it just kind of takes off, and there’s nothing to stop it when it isn’t contained."

Pounds said the cold temperature also presented challenges.

"The cold temperature is a challenge because everything freezes, the water freezes real quickly," she said. "Our personnel has to watch that we don’t slip."

Phil Crane, a man on the scene of the incident, said his mom, Norine Ketchum, is the property owner. Ketchum is leasing the home to the family living in the residence, Crane said.

Crane said the developer of the neighborhood notified him when the developer heard about the fire. Crane works nearby.

"It’s a relatively new house; that’s why this is a surprise," Crane said.

Supervising editor is Elise Schmelzer.

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