Residential fire breaks out on north side

Flames started in home’s basement near dehumidifying unit; caused $5,000 damage to house

A fire that broke out in the basement caused about $5,000 in damage to a north side house in Columbus that was recently renovated.

The Columbus Fire Department was called to 4124 N. Riverside Drive at about 5:09 p.m. Sunday after a homeowner discovered smoke inside the house. All six occupants were out of the home when firefighters arrived, and no injuries occurred, said Mike Wilson, Columbus Fire Department spokesman.

Firefighters extinguished the fire within minutes of entering the house, Wilson said.

Homeowner Bruce Smith told firefighters that he noticed the smoke when he and a family member were trying to start a vent-less fireplace located on the ground level of the home. The origin of the smoke was discovered in the basement.

Investigators determined that the fire originated in a basement utility room near a dehumidifying unit. The fire did not extend to the structure of the home, Wilson said.

The investigation of the cause of the fire is ongoing. The home was equipment with working smoke alarms, Wilson said.

Columbus Regional Health, Columbus Police Department, Duke Energy and Vectren Energy assisted at the scene.

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Kirk Johannesen is assistant managing editor of The Republic. He can be reached at or (812) 379-5639.