Semi-trailer catches fire after being used as temporary shelter

A semi-trailer that was being used as a shelter caught fire yesterday in downtown Columbus after a gas heater was left unattended.

According to reports from the Columbus Fire Department, rescue workers were called to the 1900 block of Seventh Street at about 1:52 p.m. yesterday afternoon about the trailer fire. Columbus police arrived on the scene first and were told by a man on the scene that everyone was out of the trailer already. Smoke was coming from the trailer when firefighters arrived.

The fire collapsed part of the roof of the trailer, which fell on combustible materials. The hole above the fire actually helped with ventilation as firefighters used water to put the fire out. Firefighters then entered the trailer to remove and extinguish smoldering debris.

The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental.

Firefighters provided the person sheltering in the trailer with information on resources in the community to get housing help.

The fire department also cautions that you should not use any gas heating device inside of a building or enclosed area. The accumulation of toxic gases, including carbon monoxide gas, can cause serious health hazards. Temporary heating devices should only be used when the device can be monitored.

Combustible materials should be kept at least three feet away from heating device.

Photos courtesy of Columbus Fire Department.