Posted: May 2, 2012 10:00 PM by Mark Hodges
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 926 Texas Avenue around 7 pm Wednesday night.
The 911 call came from a property management representative. She said a tenant of the building called her and told her she could smell smoke in the building.
Firefighters found smoke coming from the doorway of a two-story apartment building. People directed them to apartment "A" downstairs on the south end of the building.
Fire fighters forced their way into the empty apartment and discovered a fire in the utility room of the apartment. Crews used a dry chemical fire extinguisher to extinguish the fire involving the apartment's electrical breaker panel.
Columbia Fire Department Fire Investigator Lt. Tim Bach investigated the fire and determined the cause of the fire to be electrical. Fire damage was contained to the utility closet. Total damage is estimated at $4000. There were no injuries. Smoke alarms were present in the apartment building and were sounding when fire fighters arrived.
Fire crews were on the scene for approximately one hour. The vacant apartment was badly damaged but the remaining three apartments can still be lived in.
The Columbia Fire Department wants to remind residents that working smoke alarms do save lives. Test your smoke alarms at least once a month by pressing the test button. Replace smoke alarm batteries at least once a year. Replace smoke alarms every 10 years. To ensure adequate protection, place smoke alarms in every sleeping room, and in a common area on every floor.