Columbus firefighters have ruled the cause of a fire at a building at the Stonegate Apartments on June 25 as undetermined.

An undetermined classification is used when a fire cause cannot be definitively determined, said Capt. Mike Wilson, Columbus Fire Department spokesman. It is one of four classifications available, in addition to accidental, natural and incendiary, he said.

Classifying a fire undetermined does not affect insurance payouts to those who lost property in the fire, Wilson said.

Fire department investigator Capt. Scott Bonnell said firefighters are confident about where the fire originated but have been unable to obtain physical evidence of what started it.

Estimated damage to the building was listed at $250,000 in a fire report, Wilson said.

The fire was reported about 11:30 p.m. at 201 Stonegate Drive, a 12-unit two-bedroom apartment building where 28 people lived. Residents were displaced and lost everything they didn’t carry from the building when they were evacuated, firefighters said. Many of the residents, who escaped with the clothes they were wearing and just some personal items, are staying with friends who live in the Stonegate complex and other apartment complexes nearby.

Investigators determined the fire may have originated in a small storage building on the south side of the building, Wilson said in an earlier interview. The 10-year-old building was built to code but did not have a sprinkler system as state code does not require sprinklers for a two-story building.

Stonegate has 116 rental apartments within nine free-standing buildings and is located just west of North Marr Road, south of 10th Street and east of Garland Brook Cemetery.

The displaced residents are being assisted by the American Red Cross. The State Street Association is collecting donations for fire victims at the America and Roby Anderson Community Center, 421 McClure Road.

For more information on donating, call 812-371-7459 or 812-375-4814 or contact the association through its Facebook page at

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.