A rental home at 1605 Forest Drive was heavily damaged by fire.

Columbus firefighters were called to the vacant, two-story brick home at 5:27 a.m. Friday after a call from a passerby saying fire was coming through the roof, said Capt. Mike Wilson, Columbus Fire Department spokesman.

Firefighters initially started putting out the fire from the outside of the home but then moved inside where they found heavy fire on the second floor of the home above the garage, Wilson said. Firefighters then opened up the attic and wall spaces to continue putting out the fire, he said.

The rental property is owned by David and Susan Baker of Columbus. The Bakers told fire investigators that the home has been vacant since November. Susan Baker said she was at the house on Thursday, and didn’t detect anything unusual, Wilson said.

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Investigators believe that the fire started in the attic, and may have been burning undetected for a long period of time, Wilson said.

“The fire damage extended from one end of the home’s attic to the other end. This thing burned for long time before it showed its face,” Columbus Fire Department investigator Matt Noblitt said.

Damage to the home’s second story, including roof joists and wall studs as well as the interior, was extensive, Wilson said. Firefighters estimated damage to the $160,000 home was about $75,000, Wilson said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation and is listed as undetermined, Wilson said. No injuries were reported.

Firefighters were at the home until about 10 a.m. Friday, Wilson said.

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