A grease fire which started as a teenage boy was cooking in a garage caused about $125,000 in damages to a home on the northeast side of Columbus.
Four people were home at a two-story brick and vinyl house owned by Carolyn Jolley at 3205 Heritage Road when the fire was reported at 8:56 p.m. Tuesday. The house is just off North Marr Road near 27th Street in the Crump Estates subdivision.
Smoke was visible above the rooftops when firefighters arrived four minutes after the call and found heavy smoke and fire in an attached garage, said Capt. Mike Wilson, Columbus Fire Department spokesman.
Jolley’s 14-year-old grandson was preparing french fries in the garage on a stove when the grease fire erupted, and the teen yelled out a warning for those inside the home on the upper floors, Wilson said.
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The home’s kitchen was being renovated and a stove and other appliances had been moved to the garage while that work was continuing, he said.
James Jolley, the teen’s father, said he heard his son call out that the stove was on fire as Carolyn Jolley heard a smoke alarm sounding inside the home.
James Jolley told firefighters he saw flames on top of the stove that were moving toward nearby storage boxes, Wilson said. He rushed into the garage to try to drag various items and appliances outside the garage as Carolyn Jolley called 911, Wilson said.
Everyone left the home after the fire reached storage boxes in the garage and began to get out of control, he said. James Jolley told firefighters that the smoke in the garage increased as the fire consumed a plastic cooler that was near the stove that was on fire.
James Jolley was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital to be checked for minor injuries as a precaution during the incident.
Besides structure and content damage to the home, the fire also damaged a Dodge Dakota pickup truck parked in the driveway in front of the garage, Wilson said. However, most of the damage to the vehicle appeared to be cosmetic, he said.
Although only minor vinyl and brick damage was visible from the outside, Wilson said the excessive heat caused a significant amount of interior and structural damage — especially to the roof above the attached garage — and most of the items in the garage were destroyed.
“A lot of the fire was pushed out, producing enough heat to melt the second-story vinyl,” Wilson said. “Doors and windows were either burned through, or had to be opened up for ventilation.”
The home had smoke damage and firefighters had to break open a number of interior walls to ensure they contained no burning embers that might later rekindle the fire, Wilson said. The fire was under control at about 9:23 p.m.
After firefighters confirmed everyone was out of the house, they learned a pet cat had not been found, and began searching to try to find it, Wilson said.
Two searches turned up no sign of the cat, but a third search while smoke was being ventilated out of the home revealed the cat had hidden under a bed in an upstairs bedroom and was unharmed.
The family made temporary shelter arrangements and no injuries to firefighters were reported.
Marr Road was closed to traffic between 25th and 27th streets for more than two hours until the fire department left the scene at 11:13 p.m.