A burning candle that ignited Christmas decorations destroyed a piano and caused smoke damage to a Columbus home.

Columbus firefighters were called at 8:43 p.m. Wednesday to 3362 Trestle Drive after homeowner Joyce Heckman discovered an artificial Christmas wreath on top of a piano on fire, said Capt. Mike Wilson, Columbus Fire Department spokesman.

Heckman told firefighters she was watching television when she smelled a strange odor. Heckman looked toward another room in the home and saw a light haze of smoke and then saw her piano on fire, Wilson said.

A burning candle in an artificial Christmas wreath centerpiece on top of the piano is believed to the origin of the fire, Wilson said. The display also contained Christmas lights operated by a small battery pack.

Heckman attempted to put out the fire by placing a skillet over it, but that didn’t work, Wilson said. As the smoke increased, Heckman and two pet dogs left the home and called 911.

Firefighters used a “pressurized water can,” which contains 2½ gallons of water, to put out the fire without causing unnecessary water damage to the home, Wilson said.

Ventilation fans were used to clear smoke from the home.

Fire damage was confined to the piano, Wilson said, and the home sustained minor smoke damage.

Damages were estimated at $8,000 to the home’s structure and contents, Wilson said. Working smoke alarms were found in the home and did sound during the fire, he said.

Author photo
Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.