COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WKRN) – A fire erupted in a Columbia house shared by five Columbia State baseball players.
The home’s upper floors were badly burned.
Thankfully, nobody was injured and the players were away at the time scrimmaging MTSU.
When the blaze on West 7th Street in Columbia Saturday night around 8:30 p.m., nobody was sure if anyone was in the house or not.
That was evident in the first calls to 911.
CALLER TO 911: “There’s a house on fire, flames are coming out of the roof.”
CALLER TO 911: “Someone just came by and they are running up to see if anyone’s in the house because there are lights on in the house.”
CALLER TO 911: “Are you all right? I knocked on the door.”
911: “Is anyone inside?”
CALLER TO 911: “I am not sure there’s a truck outside but we are not sure if anyone’s there. We are inside the house.”
911: “You need to get out of the house.”
News 2 has obtained Helmet Cam of the fire. The dramatic footage shows firefighters on the second floor cutting through the ceiling with a battery-operated chainsaw. The device is relatively new to CFD, since it is not gasoline-powered, which is normally not effective in a thick smoke environment.
The first thing fire crews did was make sure the building was empty, which turns out to be the case.
While battling the blaze, firefighters note that smoke alarms are blaring in at least five rooms.
Assistant Chief Tony Scott says, “They had heavy fire showing out the roof. They started an interior attack.”
Scott says the video gives a unique perspective of an inferno that is raging above the fire fighter’s heads. It shows firefighters using the battery-operated chain saw to cut away slices of the ceiling. Once they do, angry orange flames snap at the firefighters who open up with water hoses.
Scott says, pointing to the video, “That’s where they pulled the ceiling down.”
It’s a scenario the assistant chief says can be very dangerous.
Tony Scott says, “Because the fire is all above them exiting out the roof. Anytime you have a fire above your head it is dangerous.”
Scott is also pleased with how the department’s battery operated chain saw worked.
“Think about a chainsaw. Under a normal structure fire, a combustion engine in a chain saw would not run in there. But we were able to use this battery-operated one to get inside the ceiling.”
At this time the fire’s cause has not been determined. Investigators say it is not suspicious.
Information officers for Columbia State College told News 2, all five baseball players have found new lodgings and because of the good work of the fire crews, the young men experienced minimal damage to their belongings.