Early morning fire damages rental home on Cherry Street

COLUMBUS, Ind. –Columbus firefighters were sent to 611 N. Cherry St. at 12:17 a.m. Tuesday on a report of a residential fire.

When they arrived, light smoke was reported, and firefighters learned that a small kitchen fire had been extinguished by Columbus Police Department officers. All occupants were out of the residence.

Firefighters entered the smoke-filled home and determined that the fire had been fully extinguished. Firefighters executed a quick search of the home and confirmed no occupants remained inside the residence.

Cassandra Hagan told firefighters that she and her two children were in the home’s living room when she began to smell smoke. Hagan told investigators that she went into the kitchen and found a small fire near a power strip. After attempting to extinguish the fire, Hagan said the fire grew. Hagan said she then took her children outside the home and called 9-1-1 to report the fire. Hagan told investigators that she carries renter’s insurance.

An inspection of the kitchen revealed that an electrical power strip showed signs of heavy fire damage. Firefighters found that the power strip was being powered by an extension cord which was plugged into a wall receptacle outlet. Firefighter determined that several kitchen appliances were being powered by the power strip. Investigators believe that short circuit of the power strip cause an electrical fire that extended up the wall of the kitchen. Fire damaged the kitchen wall and a kitchen window and left smoke throughout the home. An electric floor model freezer was also damaged as a result of the fire.

Investigators determined the accidental fire was a result of an overpowered power strip improperly powered by an extension cord. No working smoke alarms were found in the home. No injuries were reported at the scene. Damages from fire are estimated at approximately $3,000.  Due to the damages caused by the fire and smoke,  the American Red Cross is currently assisting the family with emergency shelter.  Agencies that assisted during the incident include the Columbus Police Department, Columbus Regional Health EMS, Bartholomew County Emergency Operations Dispatch Center, Duke Energy, CenterPoint Energy, Columbus City Utilities and the American Red Cross.