Friday fire sparked by electrical malfunction

An electrical malfunction caused a fire Friday night that seriously damaged a Columbus home.

According to the Columbus Fire Department, firefighters were called to North Hughes Street at 10:24 p.m. Friday night and found fire and smoke coming from the front window of a single-story house. Firefighters encountered heavy flames in the living room. It took about 10 minutes for firefighters to extinguish the blaze with water.

The owner said he had been watching TV in a bedroom when he heard a strange noise from the front of the home and saw the glow of flames in the living room. He fled to a neighboring home, where a neighbor called 9-1-1.

The homeowner said that earlier in the day he had moved an electric fireplace to the living room and plugged it directly into a floor outlet. Investigators found signs of electrical arcing at the outlet. They suspect that the heavy electrical draw of the fireplace may have caused a short, contributing to the fire.

No working smoke alarms were located in the home, investigators say. Firefighters stress the importance of having working smoke alarms in your home and offer a program to install them.

Damages are estimated at $50,000 and the home is not livable. No one was injured. The homeowner is staying with neighbors temporarily.