A fire caused substantial damage to a home on Mapleton Street on the east side of Columbus.

Columbus firefighters were called to 31 S. Mapleton St. at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday after a resident reported finding flames in a bedroom.

Two adult females were in the home when the fire started and escaped without injury, said Capt. Mike Wilson, Columbus Fire Department spokesman.

Three adults lived in the rented three-bedroom home, Columbus Fire Department investigator Matt Noblitt said.

Story continues below gallery

One of the occupants was in a bedroom and briefly left the room, then returned to find the room on fire, Noblitt said. She then went to get a fire extinguisher but the fire had grown in size, and both adults left the home and called 911, he said.

Fire was blowing from the windows at the rear of the house when firefighters arrived, Noblitt said.

After focusing on putting out the fire at the rear of the home, firefighters then went through the structure to reach the bedroom where they suspected the fire started, Wilson said. They encountered intense heat as they moved through the smoke-filled home, Wilson said. As firefighters were going through ceilings and walls to determine the fire was confined to the bedroom area, a sudden flashover happened in the home’s living room, Wilson said. Firefighters then diverted to putting out extensive fire in the living room and conducted another search of the home.

Damages are estimated at $80,000 to the structure, owned by Don R. Scheit, and contents of the home, Wilson said. The cause of the fire is undetermined.

A cat and dog were unaccounted for at the home and firefighters were unable to find them in the home, Wilson said.

The American Red Cross provided relocation help to the tenants.

About smoke alarms

No working smoke alarms were found in a home at 31 S. Mapleton St., which caught fire Wednesday afternoon. It was the fifth residential fire in Columbus this year that did not have the life-saving alarms.

Statistics show that working smoke alarms double people’s chances of surviving a home fire. The Columbus Fire Department also recommends that families create and practice a home fire escape drill designed specifically for their residence.

The fire department is working with the American Red Cross to provide no-cost smoke alarms to areas of the community where firefighters encounter homes that do not have smoke alarms. For information, call the Red Cross at 812-379-9551.

Source: Columbus Fire Department

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