Fire at retirement home forces evacuation

Thursday, August 23, 2007 | 5:55 p.m. CDT; updated 4:08 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

COLUMBIA — An overheated generator caused a fire Wednesday afternoon at a Columbia retirement home.

The fire forced 46 residents and staff to evacuate the kitchen, day care and special care units of the Lenoir Woods Care Center, 3300 New Haven Road, at about 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Maintenance staff noticed smoke near a generator vent after a burning smell was noticed. Fire crews then discovered a fire on the roof, according to a Columbia Fire Department news release. Firefighters used a chain saw to access the roof and a fire hose to put out a small fire.

Earlier in the day, the faulty generator had passed an annual inspection. Damages from the fire were estimated at $10,000.

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