Early Morning Fire Displaces Two Columbia Families
COLUMBIA - The cause of an early morning fire at 2214 Chapel Hill Road on January 9th remains undetermined but suspicious in nature. The occupants of the upstairs apartment left the scene rapidly before fire crews arrived. Crews found items consistent with a methamphetamine lab in the garage attached to 2212 Chapel Hill Road, which was identified as the area of origin.
Columbia Fire Department Investigators and Columbia Police Department Detectives conducted extensive interviews with those that lived in the home and their acquaintances. While most of those interviewed were cooperative, some were not. One person investigators would like to speak with has not been located.
The investigation remains open and active. Anyone with relevant information should contact the Columbia Fire Department, Fire Marshal's Division at 573-874-7556 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8am and 5pm.
Columbia Fire Department investigators are working with Columbia Police Department Detectives on the investigation.
The area of origin is determined to be in the south portion of the garage. The fire cause is still under investigation.
According to the Columbia Fire Deparment, on the morning of the fire crews arrived on the scene and reported smoke and fire visible from the roadway. Crews began to fight the fire and search the structure for people. While searching the structure, crews learned that the home was a multi-family dwelling with residents on the first floor and residents occupying the basement. It was also reported that the residents on the first floor woke up the residents in the basement and both groups evacuated the structure, got into a vehicle, and left the scene prior to the arrival of the Fire Department.
Assistant Fire Marshal Tim Bach investigated the fire and the exact cause of the fire is under investigation and a damage estimate of $ 50,000.00 dollars has been issued.
There were no injuries reported as a result of the fire.