Fire destroys Columbus duplex

COLUMBUS – On Wednesday in downtown Columbus, four people and three cats were rescued after a duplex fire.

According to the Columbus Fire Department, firefighters responded to the 1000 block of Eighth Street just before 7 p.m. after the fire broke out in the rental unit. Flames were coming through the roof. When firefighters breached a back door, they were hit with a smoke explosion with a blast wave, but no one was injured.

Smoke from an underventilated fire can flow through leakage in a structure to collect in concealed spaces or other compartments within the building. Remember, smoke is fuel! If smoke is present, even if cool and well away from involved compartments, there is potential for a smoke explosion. However, while infrequent, the conditions required for a smoke explosion can develop within a structure and present a significant threat to firefighters.

Photo provided by the Columbus Fire Department

Firefighters found heavy fire in a bathroom. The fire was so intense that the heat melted the shower fixtures, and flames burned through the ceiling and into the attic.

It took firefighters about 20 minutes to get the fire under control.

A search of the home recovered the three cats, who were lethargic from the smoke. They received oxygen treatment from pet masks carried on all Columbus Fire Department vehicles and, after recovering, were returned to their owners.

Firefighters say the building was extensively damaged. Families were displaced and received assistance from The American Red Cross.

Damages are estimated at more than $60,000.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Also assisting at the scene were the Columbus Police Department, Columbus Township Fire Department, Columbus Regional Health medics, Duke Energy, and the Salvation Army.