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Unattended cooking fire damages duplex

Wednesday, September 19, 2007 | 5:51 p.m. CDT; updated 11:49 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 8, 2008

COLUMBIA — An unattended cooking fire caused an estimated $25,000 in damages to a west Columbia duplex Wednesday afternoon, Columbia Fire Department Capt. Rick Douglas said.

The resident of the duplex, Kela Williams, had put a pot of water on the stove to boil and accidentally turned on a burner that held a pot of cooking oil instead, Douglas said.

After going out to the porch, Williams noticed the fire. By that time, the fire was out of control, and when the fire department arrived shortly after 2:30 p.m., flames and smoke were coming from the duplex’s front door, Douglas said.

The fire destroyed all of the kitchen’s appliances, cabinets, wiring behind the walls and damaged the drywall, Douglas said. Smoke damage also occurred throughout Williams’ unit, Douglas said.

“She’s going to have to gut the whole kitchen,” Douglas said. “It’s going to be a mess.”

The fire was contained to one unit, and no one else was home at the time of the fire. Williams was not injured.

According to the department’s press release, cooking accidents are one of the nation’s leading causes of residential fires.


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