Early morning fire damages apartment

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 4:17 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A fire at an apartment building in east Columbia caused $125,000 in damage early Tuesday morning, displacing five people overnight.

No one was injured in the fire.

The Columbia Fire Department responded to a report of a fire at College Town Apartments at 2209 Oakwood Drive at 2:43 a.m. Firefighters found smoke

billowing from the apartment building and began fighting the fire on the first floor. Once inside, they found the back room's floor had been badly damaged by the fire, exposing the basement, Columbia Fire Capt. Rick Douglas said.

Firefighters left the apartment and made their second attack with two crews -- one from the front of the complex, and the other from the back -- into the basement, according to the release. The blaze was brought under control within 20 minutes by a total of 16 firefighters, according to the release.

Several of the apartment units in the building -- including the one above the fire -- were vacant because the building was being remodeled by its new owners, according to the release.

Damage was estimated at $125,000 and was determined to have been caused by a faulty light fixture in the basement storage area, Douglas said.

The Red Cross was called to the scene to help residents find shelter overnight. Two of the apartment's residents spent the night in hotels, while three others stayed with family, Douglas said.

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