Red Cross No Longer Sheltering Displaced Residents from Fire
The fire tore through the top floor of the complex Tuesday morning, leaving residents temporarily homeless. In response, the Red Cross set up a shelter at Broadway Christian Church Tuesday night.
Though only two people utilized the shelter, Debby Graham, coordinator of outreach ministry for Broadway Christian Church, said the church was happy to step in. "They provided pizza for dinner and made sure everybody was comfortable for the night. And we were able to provide hot showers for the people that stayed overnight. So, it was a good experience, I think, as good as it could be," Graham said.
Due to the small number of residents in need of shelter, the Red Cross decided to close the shelter Wednesday morning.
Investigators determined Tuesday the fire was sparked by an electrical malfunction in the complex's third floor. According to firefighters at the scene, the buildings were not equipped with manual pull down stations, a violation of Columbia's city code. The pull down stations alert emergency personnel and residents quicker.
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