Report details damage, firefighter's injury at Columbia condo fire

Columbia condo fire report

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The remains of a charcoal bag and "numerous" cigarette butts were found at the scene of a Columbia condominium complex fire earlier this month, according to a fire report obtained by ABC 17 News through a records request. 

The Columbia Fire Department dispatched crews to Spencer's Crest Condominiums in the 3800 block of Saddlebrook Place on June 20. The complex is two stories with eight residential units, officials said.

According to the report, people reported smoke and flames coming from a second-floor balcony of unit 405. The fire heavily damaged units 405 and 407, with the report stating that "all ceiling materials had fallen" and water damage was reported throughout both units.

Documents said firefighters discovered the remains of a Kingsford brand charcoal bag, soda cans and "numerous" cigarette butts on the balcony of 405.

Fire officials spoke with the person who lived in the unit and said he had not been smoking and had not done so the night before the fire. The resident told firefighters he went to meet a woman at her vehicle outside of the condo, and when he returned he smelled smoke. He said he got a fire extinguisher from a neighbor, but when he got back to his unit, he found thick smoke and flames coming from the balcony.

The report said the cause of the fire is ruled undetermined but improperly discarded smoking materials cannot be ruled out.

Two other units had minor smoke damage, and another unit sustained water damage throughout. The other units were not involved, according to the report.

Documents said property damage was estimated at $250,000 and the estimate for contents was $25,000.

The report also detailed how a firefighter was injured while crews were responding to the fire. It said an engineer fell from the hose bed, landed on her back and hit her head. She was taken to Boone Hospital to be evaluated and was later released. According to the report, the engineer also had abrasions to her arm.


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