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No injuries in fire; officials look for cause


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Columbus firefighters are trying to determine the cause of a garage fire at 2914 14th St.

A neighbor called 911 at 5:47 p.m. Monday to report the fire. The home and garage have been owned since 2001 by JoEllen Schownfeld, who was not home when the fire was reported, according to Columbus firefighters.

Schownfeld went home after work to find firefighters there. Also returning to the home was Shownfeld’s grandson, Chris Hilderbrand, who also lives there and said he received a cellphone call about the fire.

He told firefighters that he had a moped in the garage and had plugged in a space heater to warm the garage. Hilderbrand said he left the home and estimated receiving the call about the fire 10 minutes later.

Firefighters removed the garage overhead door to put the fire out. The fire was out within minutes.

Columbus Fire Department investigator Keith Owen said that he found an extension cord that led from the home to the garage but was unable to determine a cause. Damage to the garage is estimated at $10,000.

Schownfeld said that she was grateful no one was injured and that the garage was insured. Fire Department Lt. Jeff Cain said firefighters were able to salvage family photos found in dresser drawers in the garage.

Firefighters reminded homeowners to refrain from using extension cords with space heaters and that space heaters should not be left unattended in homes or garages.

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