3 escape north side home fire

Two adults and a 4-year-old child escaped unharmed after a kitchen fire broke out in their home near Grace Lutheran Church on the city’s north side.

Columbus firefighters estimated the fire caused about $30,000 damage to the home owned by Charles Ackenback Sr., 3205 Central Ave.

The cause of the fire has been ruled accidental, attributed to unattended cooking, Wilson said.

Ackenback told firefighters he saw smoke near the kitchen ceiling just after noon Wednesday and discovered the kitchen stove was on fire.

He immediately called out to his son, Jay Ackenback, who was giving his 4-year-old grandson a bath, and told him to call 911, firefighters said.

Jay Ackenback and his grandson safely escaped through a bedroom window, while Charles Ackenback Sr. got out through the front door, firefighters said.

Two cats were later found safe at the home, said Columbus Fire Department spokesman Capt. Mike Wilson. Charles Ackenback told firefighters he had lived at the Central Avenue address for 21 years.

Although the fire was confined to the kitchen, there was extensive smoke damage throughout the house, Wilson said.

Firefighters also used thermal imaging equipment to find hot embers hidden in the attic and utilized a special foam to extinguished any remaining fire.

No working smoke detectors were found in the home, firefighters said.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.