COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - An early Friday morning fire in Northeast Columbia destroyed one home and damaged five surrounding homes.
The Columbia Fire Department got the call just before 9:00 a.m. It happened on Brickingham Way in Columbia.
"I raised my back window and I smelled smoke," Merelen Simpson who lives just two doors down from where the fire started explained. "Just all of a sudden smoke, and then a burst of flames in the back of the house."
Fire officials said the fire was fully involved once they arrived, making the flames even harder to contain.
"I have never seen anything like that. It just went up so fast, it was just totally gone within 10 minutes, I think," Simpson said.
It is still unclear what caused the fire, but officials say the home where the fire started is a complete loss. The intense heat from the flames also damaged the surrounding homes, melting their sides.
"A lot of heat coming from this fire. We have about five homes that received radiant heat damage to the siding. Minimal damage, but there is damage to those homes," Brick Lewis, the Public Information Officer for CFD said.
The Columbia Fire Department is still investigating what may have caused the fire. Meanwhile, the neighbors of the homeowner who lost their home in the fire are being as supportive as they can in what could only be described as a difficult time.
"Gut-wrenching. I just feel for them right now. Everyone has come out and embraced the homeowner," Simpson said. "Anything he needs – like I said, we're family oriented here."?
There were no reported injuries in the fire.