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Columbus home considered ‘total loss’ after Saturday morning fire

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) — A Columbus home is considered a total loss after a Saturday morning fire that fire investigators believe to be accidental. Fire investigators say that a heating lamp used to warm baby chickens may have caused the fire.

at 4:10 a.m. Saturday, Columbus firefighters responded to 2676 Central Avenue after one of the home’s occupants awoke to an odor of smoke in the home. A female occupant told firefighters that the smell of smoke led to a small fire within an enclosed breezeway leading from the home to the garage.

The home was evacuated when firefighters arrived, but the breezeway was engulfed in flames, with fire extending to the residence. Firefighters battled the flames while searching the home. A cat was discovered inside the home and firefighters removed it from the home before the cat ran away unharmed.

Firefighters fought the flames for 30 minutes before the fire was marked under control.

Homeowner Diana McGrady was sleeping when she was awoken by her niece, who reported that the home was on fire. McGrady told firefighters that she and her niece escaped the home and called 911. McGrady also told firefighters that there were baby chickens situated under a heating lamp in the area. Fire investigators believe that a extension cord was used to power the heating lamp.

Firefighters collected a few salvageable items from the home, including shoes, shirts, pants, a cell phone, and two pairs of reading glasses. Firefighters believe the total loss of the home and contents is estimated at $200,000. McGrady told firefighters that the home is insured.

The family was displaced and is currently being assisted by the Salvation Army.