A large grass fire came dangerously close to Westwood Pines Apartments and nearby businesses and homes on the west side of Columbus.

The 2 p.m. Friday fire charred about 3½ acres of land behind the apartments in an area between South County Road 350W and Goeller Road, Columbus Township firefighters said.

The fire spread to within 15 feet of the apartment complex, and Columbus city firefighters were called in to make sure it didn’t jump a line of pine trees into the apartments, city fire investigator Matt Noblitt said.

Columbus Township Capt. Steve LaRue said about 50 firefighters worked at the scene for about two hours, including departments from Southwest, Elizabethtown and Wayne and Harrison townships, and Columbus city firefighters.

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High winds varying in direction led to the fire quickly spreading across the acreage, which was blackened by the fire, LaRue said.

Five brush trucks and three water tankers were called out to help, with tankers transporting water from a nearby hydrant out to the field, where it was used by firefighters manning the trucks.

Firefighters requested chain saws and bolt cutters as they worked to keep the fire from crossing a fence into a residential area near the apartment complex.

Several residents came out to the tree line to watch the firefighters work to prevent the fire from reaching their homes.

Two young sisters who live at a nearby home, Emma and Callie Newell, brought cookies out to the firefighters to thank them for putting out the fire.

No injuries were reported and no buildings were damaged, LaRue said.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known and remains under investigation, he 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.