Condo fire origin found; cause still unknown
COLUMBIA – Battalion Chief and Fire Marshall Jim Pasley found the origin of Thursday's fire on the second floor deck at Spencer’s Crest Condominium’s.
The cause of the fire is still undetermined. Columbia Fire Department has not ruled out smoking materials thrown away improperly.
“There was an indication that there was smoking that occurred in that area, while we can’t pinpoint it as being the cause we can’t rule it out,” Assistant Fire Chief Brad Frazier said.
“Anytime you have an event that size, a fire that big, there are certainly a number of things we want to look at, but that hasn’t been brought to our attention that there is anything suspicious in nature,” Frazier said.
The people in half of the 8-plex were affected. The total damage cost is estimated at $250,000. Frazier explained what the plan is for the complex going forward.
“The investigation has concluded. We are working with the City of Columbia building and site development department who will determine if there is too much damage for someone to get back into their apartment.”
Everyone was safely evacuated. One firefighter had non-life threatening injuries and was taken to Boone Hospital for evaluation, and was later released.
“We’ve never seen one this ferocious,” neighbor Jane Craig said.
Craig said she was the one to call her neighbor when she saw his unit was below the one on fire.
“I called him at work to tell him about his unit, and he ended up losing everything,” she said. “The lady in the unit above him lost everything, she even lost her pet.”
She said overall the fire department should be honored for getting everyone out alive.