Discarded cigarette butts caused a weekend fire that destroyed a house at 509 Banks Ave., the Columbia Fire Department said today.
Fire investigators said the blaze started Saturday morning in an attached garage after the occupants put cigarette butts in a trash bag and then went on a family trip.
The Fire Department estimates that the house is a total loss. Damage was estimated at $100,000 to $150,000, according to the Fire Department. That includes three cars parked in front of the house and siding on a house next door — all damaged by the heat of the fire.
The Boone County Chapter of the American Red Cross is helping the displaced family with temporary housing, clothing and food.