Columbus firefighters battle south side blaze in frigid cold

COLUMBUS (WCMH) –Firefighters battled an intense house fire Wednesday morning.

It happened around 10:30am on the 800-block of Ann Street.

Columbus Division of Fire Chief Steve Martin said they believe the blaze began on the vacant side of the home and then quickly spread to the occupied side of the building.

“This type of construction is called balloon construction and once it gets into the walls it can take off and go right up into the attic,” said Chief Martin. “Unfortunately, that’s kind of the path that it took, so it wasn’t long before it extended from the first floor up into the second and third floors of this building.”

He said no one was home during the fire and there were no injuries. However, a dog was rescued from inside the blaze.

“The dog was pretty wet from the firefighting operations, so we put the dog in one of our medics. It’s being warmed up and dried off with towels and blankets,” said Chief Martin.

Next-door neighbor John Stubbins said he heard a window break and then saw flames. That’s when he called 911.

The siding on his home was melted off from the intense heat.

“The flames were just coming out, shooting out quickly,” he said. “Thank god for our fire department. They responded fast.”

Other neighbors from around the block came to watch, shocked by the massive amount of smoke and fire.

“Smoke was just billowing,” said Dwight Ware. “This is one of the biggest I’ve seen up close, fire trucks from everywhere.”

Besides battling flames, these firefighters were also battling the cold. A COTA bus was brought into they could rest someplace warm.

“Once you’ve been in it and starting to sweat underneath all of that gear and then you come out in this wind, that makes it miserable,” said Chief Martin.

Neighbor and south side area commissioner Atticus Garden said he’s glad no one was hurt.

“I’m glad nobody was injured, especially one of my neighbors,” said Garden. “I live just three houses down. I’m glad they were able to put it out safely.”

Fire investigators have already been out on the scene. Chief Martin said so far they don’t know what caused the fire.

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