An east side Columbus home was heavily damaged by a fire that firefighters said started in a utility closet near a water heater.

Columbus firefighters were sent to 2838 Conestoga Court at 3:26 p.m. Friday after a report that smoke was coming from the single-story home’s roof and vent area, fire investigator Matt Noblitt said.

Firefighters determined the fire originated in an electrical outlet where the water heater was plugged in, which was in a utility closet off the garage, Noblitt said.

The home’s owner, Jordan Shrader, said he was at work when he received a call from a neighbor alerting him that smoke was coming from the home.

Story continues below gallery

Click here to purchase photos from this gallery

The American Red Cross is assisting Shrader in finding a place to stay while repairs are done on the home. The homeowner said he had lived at the residence since July 2016.

Noblitt estimated damage to the home at about $100,000, as the roof and attic were extensively damaged in the fire, in addition to some water damage in the rest of the home. Firefighters said the fire may have been smoldering most of the day before it was reported Friday afternoon, he said.

No injuries were reported.

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