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Boarding house fire downtown ruled accidental

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A fire Thursday at a boarding house at 938 Franklin St. has been ruled accidental due to electrical overload.

The fire, which began about 7 p.m. Thursday, displaced 14 residents. No one was injured.

The blaze was caused by an overload to the house’s electrical system along with improper use of extension cords, Columbus Fire Department spokesman Capt. Michael Wilson said Sunday.


Four investigators sifted through the debris at the scene for several hours Friday, Wilson said.

The building’s electrical service was updated from 60 amp service to 200 amp service in 1999, Wilson said.

The building also recently passed an inspection, he said.

Each apartment within the building had all the typical appliances, including refrigerators and microwave ovens, Columbus Fire Department Matt Noblitt said. Several also had hotplate cooking devices.

Columbus Police and the Bartholomew County Sheriff Department assisted in the investigation, Wilson said.

Estimated value of the boarding house, owned by Monroe Pendleton, was $105,000. Content loss was believed to be about $30,000, Wilson said.

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