Fire destroys downtown Columbus rental home

A fire destroyed a home on California Street in downtown Columbus Monday morning.

According to the Columbus Fire Department, firefighters from the city and Columbus Township Fire and Rescue Department were called to the 900 block of California Street at about 10 Monday morning. They found heavy fire inside the single story rental home. Inside firefighters encountered extreme heat to the point that their water was having little effect on putting the fire out. As it became apparent that the fire had spread into more rooms and into the home’s attic, firefighters were ordered to retreat from inside and work on the fire from the exterior.

After a portion of the roof collapsed, firefighters were able to direct water inside from above the home and get the fire under control.

A neighboring home suffered minor damage to its siding caused by the extreme radiant heat.

No one was at home at the time of the fire. Two dogs were in the back yard and were uninjured. They were taken in by Columbus Animal Care Services.

The home is considered a total loss with damages estimated at $50,000.

Firefighters worked at the scene for more than four hours. Seven fire units responded to the scene with 22 firefighters.

Under a new automatic mutual aid agreement that went into effect Aug. 1st, the city and township now both respond to structure fires in the community. This was the first time the new agreement has been used and fire department officials say the additional manpower and equipment on the scene helped get the job done as efficiently and safely as possible.

Also assisting at the scene were Columbus Police Department, Columbus Regional Health Ambulance Service, Duke Energy, CenterPoint Energy, Columbus City Utilities and the Bartholomew County Emergency Operations Dispatch Center.

Photo courtesy of Columbus Fire Department