A fire that may have started from a bird’s nest in a porch light caused an estimated $70,000 damage to a home at 5235 Norway Court at 9:26 p.m. Thursday.
Columbus firefighters were called to the home after the homeowner saw flames on the exterior front porch, said Capt. Mike Wilson, Columbus Fire Department spokesman.
Stephen and Linda Alis told firefighters they were inside their home and saw a flash outside the home’s front porch near a porch light, Wilson said.
Stephen Alis went outside the rear of the home and tried to reach a garden hose located in close proximity to the front entry door. He told firefighters that the flames and heat prevented him from being able to reach the garden hose. Linda Alis, an adult daughter, and a grandson, escaped the home and called 911, Wilson said.
When firefighters arrived, they found heavy fire conditions near the home’s front door and attached garage area, Wilson said. Engine 4 was the first fire unit to arrive on the scene and quickly attacked the flames. In a short time the visible flames were brought under control, but smoke conditions indicated that fire was still free burning in the attic space located above the attached garage area, Wilson said.
As additional firefighters arrived on the scene, suppression crews reached the attic space where they once again found heavy fire conditions, Wilson said. Crews extinguished the fire in the attic and began to search the home and attic space for additional pockets of hidden fire. After confirming the fire was under control, firefighters removed smoke form the home using positive pressure ventilation fans.
Columbus Fire Department investigators learned that a small bird nest had recently been built inside the porch light. According to Linda Alis, the front porch light had been on prior to the discovery of the fire. Department investigators have determined that the origin of the fire was the area near the porch light. The investigation is ongoing, but the fire is considered accidental, Wilson said.
The Salvation Army is assisting the family with emergency services as the family is displaced from their home at this time, Wilson said.