The first fire crew arrived four minutes later and encountered heavy fire and smoke conditions from a one-story residence as well as fire from a vehicle parked in the driveway of the residence. The crew encountered an additional burning vehicle inside the attached garage and quickly determined the fire had moved into the attic of the residence. They began an aggressive interior fire attack and search and rescue operations with a preconnected hose line.
As additional personnel and equipment arrived, fire crews established a water supply from a nearby fire hydrant and used additional preconnected hose lines to attack the fire and continue search and rescue operations in remaining areas of the residence.
While inside battling the fire and as a result of high heat conditions, one firefighter was injured, sustaining second-degree burns; they were transported by ambulance to the University of Missouri – Columbia’s George D. Peak Memorial Burn and Wound Center for treatment of injuries. The firefighter was treated by hospital staff and released.
Due to elevated humidity and temperature levels, as well as difficulty accessing hidden areas of fire, an additional fire crew was called to the scene for assistance.
During firefighting operations, crews determined the occupants of the residence had made it safely to the exterior of the building; however, two felines remained trapped inside. Fire crews located the two cats inside; both were found unresponsive. Crews were able to resuscitate one pet by providing CPR and oxygen therapy; the second pet was determined to be deceased. Care for both was transferred to their owner.
The fire was brought under control in approximately 20 minutes.
Columbia fire marshals were called to perform an origin and cause investigation. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Damage is estimated at $275,000. Fire marshals determined smoke alarms alerted the occupants to the fire.
Eleven crews from the Columbia Fire Department and two University of Missouri – Columbia advanced life support EMS assets responded to this incident.
The Columbia Fire Department reminds residents that smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms should be placed on every level of your home and outside of places where people sleep. Check your smoke alarms monthly by pressing the test button. Change your smoke alarm batteries at least twice per year when adjusting your clocks for Daylight Saving Time. Replace any smoke alarm over ten (10) years old.