Man drags burning mattress out of apartment complex

Sunday, June 3, 2007 | 2:50 a.m. CDT; updated 7:09 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

A Columbia man dragged a smoldering mattress down the stairs of Oak Towers Apartments at about noon Saturday to waiting firefighters, said Division Chief Glenn Rush.

The Columbia Fire Department was alerted to the fire by a 911 call from someone in the building on North Garth Avenue, Rush said.

After talking to residents of the building, investigators determined that the fire started in the apartment of Martin Kracht after he dropped a lighter on his mattress, Rush said.

Kracht doused the flames with cups of water, then dragged the still-smoldering mattress from his fourth-floor apartment to the building’s loading dock, Rush said.

Once outside, the mattress reignited before firefighters extinguished the fire, Rush said.

Smoke filled the fourth floor of the building and set off alarms, but Rush was not sure if any more damage was done to the building.

No one was injured in the fire. The mattress, a complete loss, was valued at $100, according to a news release.

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