One injured in Columbia high rise fire

jmonk@thestate.comOctober 7, 2013 

COLUMBIA, SC An 18-story high-rise fire in downtown Columbia Sunday night resulted in a woman being transported to a local hospital and more than a dozen people being evacuated.

The cause of the fire was "smoking while oxygen was in use," Columbia Fire Department spokesman Brick Lewis said.

The condition of the woman was unknown.

No one else was injured in the fire at 1930 Marion Street, a building on the corner of Marion and Calhoun that is operated by the Columbia Housing Authority.

The 146-unit building, near the busy intersection of Bull and Elmwood streets, houses people 50 and above, according to the buildings Internet site.

More than 40 firefighters on the scene extinguished the blaze in a second-story apartment, Lewis said.

All tenants residing from the first to the third floors were evacuated from the building, and everyone on the fourth floor and above "sheltered in place," Lewis said.

The fire started in an area in the second-floor apartment where the oxygen tank was in use, Lewis said.

Two ladder trucks and multiple fire engines responded to the fire when the call came in around 9:40 p.m., he said.

There was minimal damage to the high rise, even in the unit where the first started, he said.

Sprinkler systems played a large role in keeping damage to a minimum, he said.

Firefighters returned the occupants to the building late Sunday.

Reach Monk at (803) 771-8344.

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