Garage damaged by fire

Columbus firefighters said a detached garage in the 1300 block of Pearl Street that was being renovated into a dance studio was extensively damaged in a fire early Friday morning.

Firefighters were sent to 1303 Pearl St. at 6:31 a.m. Friday after a resident there saw the fire in the building after hearing a loud boom.

Flames were seen through the roof of the structure when firefighters arrived in about four minutes and had the fire under control by 6:48 a.m., said Capt. Mike Wilson, Columbus Fire Department spokesman.

Courtney James, a tenant at the property, told firefighters she had been remodeling the detached garage into a music and dance studio and had been working there until about 9 p.m. Thursday.

James told firefighters that all utilities and appliances were off when she left the building, Wilson said. The fire is believed to have originated in an area that was being used as storage, Wilson said.

Some of James’ musical equipment was destroyed in the fire as well as a booth seat that came from Lucas Brothers Sandwich Shop, Wilson said. Also destroyed were several wall mirrors that were to be used for the dance studio.

“This is really hard,” James told firefighters after seeing the damage. “I’ve put so much time and money into this project, and now it’s gone.”

Firefighters estimated damage to the building and contents at $22,000, Wilson said.

The intense heat from the fire melted vinyl siding at a nearby residence at 722 13th St., across the alley, causing about $5,000 damage, Wilson said. A wooden privacy fence at 1311 Pearl St. had about $500 damage, firefighters estimated.

Power to a residence at 1303 Pearl St. was interrupted due to a damaged power line at the scene, Wilson said.

No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is undetermined and still under investigation, Wilson said.

Duke Energy, Columbus police and a Columbus Regional Hospital ambulance assisted at the scene.

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