UPDATE: Columbia Fire Department Determines Cause of Apartment Fire
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department responded to a structure fire at a multi-unit apartment building at 1411 Bass Ave. in Columbia at approximately 5:20 a.m. Friday. The fire resulted from one apartment. According to the fire department, a 59-year-old male resident who lives in that apartment was transported to Boone Hospital for "possible smoke inhalation." There were no other injuries.
Columbia Fire Department Investigator Lt. Lisa Todd determined the cause of the fire was smoking materials that ignited bedding material. Damage to the building and contents is estimated at $2000. There were no working smoke alarms in the apartment.
Firefighters began evacuating residents and located the fire in apartment 207. They found a futon-type mattress on fire in the apartment and put the fire out with a portable water extinguisher. Firefighters then removed the mattress from the building and extinguished the smoldering remains.
Another resident in the building discovered the fire as she was leaving for work. "Fortunately this fire was discovered and reported before it caused significant damage or loss of life," said Columbia Fire Captain John Metz. "Working smoke alarms reduce your risk of dying in a fire by 50%. They are essential to provide the early warning needed to safely escape a fire."
The Columbia Fire Department said in a press release that they want 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."