About 20 people displaced following two-alarm fire at apartment complex

Published: Aug. 10, 2017 at 3:45 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2017 at 11:35 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - An apartment building in the Forest Acres area was heavily damaged after a fire broke out Thursday morning, leaving multiple people out of a home.

Firefighters responded to the two-alarm fire around 11:30 a.m. at the apartments at 2611 Ranch Road, off Decker Boulevard. The Columbia Fire Chief said seven apartment units were damaged, as well as the leasing office.

There were no reported injuries but officials say a few firefighters were treated at the scene for heat exhaustion. Several pets had to be rescued from the apartment building. One witness said his pet had to be thrown from a window to escape the fire.

Richland County Fire Marshal's Office will take on the investigation from here to determine a cause.

"When we arrived on the scene, we actually had fire coming through the roof when we got here. Right now, we're unsure as to how the fire started. Certainly, there will be an investigation to try to figure that out. We got Richland County Fire Marshall on the scene, and they'll be doing the investigation," Columbia Fire Chief, Aubrey Jenkins said.

Firefighters say it took about an hour to "knock down" the fire. Fire officials say the fire caused an estimated $250,000 in damages.

The American Red Cross says it's helping 20 people who were forced out of their homes by the fire.

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