House Catches Fire For Second Time in a Month
COLUMBIA - A house on UMC Drive set ablaze for the second time in a month. The side of the house caught fire around 6:30 p.m. on November 28.
Fire crews arrived and found smoke and flames coming from the roof of a two-story home. Upon entry, crews discovered a fire on the rear deck which had spread to the attic. It took crews approximately 15 minutes to bring the flames under control.
The home sustained significant heat, smoke, and water damage to the second story. There were no injuries and damage is currently estimated at $25,000 to the rental home owned by Raymond and Tina Hu.
Investigators from the Columbia Fire Department were on-scene and have determined the cause to be an unattended BBQ grill on the back deck.
The occupants, Jake Houska, Logan McGuire, and Kyle Key (all local college students) indicated to fire crews that they had started a BBQ grill using a metal "coal cylinder." Approximately 15 minutes later, they smelled smoke in the home. Upon investigation of the odor, they discovered flames on the deck and rear of the home. They evacuated the home and called 9-1-1 to request fire department assistance.
All three occupants are receiving emergency assistance from the Columbia-Boone County Chapter of The American Red Cross as a result of this fire.
This home was damaged by another fire on October 30, 2010. In that incident, an unattended BBQ grill caused a fire which significantly damaged the deck. There were no injuries in that incident. Repairs to the deck damage from that incident were completed today, approximately five hours before this evening's blaze.
The Columbia Fire Department reminds residents to never leave BBQ grills, or other open-flame cooking devices, unattended on combustible surfaces such as wooden decks.