A woman who ran back into a burning Columbus home to retrieve her purse and doll collection was overcome by smoke.
Roxanne Henderson, 57, was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital late Monday morning after suffering from smoke inhalation. A hospital spokesperson said she was treated in the emergency room and released.
Henderson lived in the rear unit of an older, one-story house converted into three apartments at 820 Union St.
Firefighters received a report at 11:23 a.m. that a fire had broken out in the kitchen of a front apartment.
However, Michelle Riedman, the tenant in the front apartment, said the electricity had been shut off to her unit and was not supposed to be restored until later in the day.
While the flames were largely confined to Riedman’s apartment, the other two units sustained extensive smoke damage.
A preliminary estimate provided by the Columbus Fire Department put damages at about $75,000.
Dale and Amy Smith, who lived in the third apartment with their four children, escaped injuries. The children were in school when the fire broke out.
One of their dogs, a 6-week-old pit bull terrier, was rescued from the bathroom of the smoke-filled building and treated for smoke inhalation at the scene. The Smith’s other dog, an adult Shih Tzu, alerted the couple of the fire next door, according to Dale Smith.
After seeing the smoke, Smith said he heard a neighbor say the fire originated in a neighbor’s refrigerator. Smith said that motivated him to get to the neighbor’s kitchen and pull out electrical cords from the outlet before fleeing the building.
However, the cause of the fire is still under investigation, Battalion Chief Dan Cleland said.
The Columbus Red Cross was brought in to assist the displaced tenants in finding temporary lodgings.