Early Morning Fire Displaces 25 Residents - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

Early Morning Fire Displaces 25 Residents

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -

Fire investigators say a fire that started at a Columbus apartment complex early Friday morning is suspicious.

Columbus firefighters were called to the Central Gardens Apartments in the 1400 block of Rich Street at about 3:07 a.m. Friday.

Responding firefighters arrived to find smoke pouring from the three-story building. Firefighters went to one side door and found one apartment and the connecting hallway heavily involved with fire.

A 76-year-old sustained second degree burns to one third of his body. He was transported to the burn unit at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition.

A 33-year-old woman was transported to Mt. Carmel West to be treated for smoke inhalation. She was listed in stable condition.

Fire officials say between 25 and 30 residents were displaced by the fire. A COTA bus was called to the scene so that the residents could sit inside to keep warm. The Red Cross and the building managers are working to relocate the residents.

According to the investigation, the fire began in an apartment on the second floor before it spread to the rest of the building.

The building sustained about $100,000 in damages, according to investigators. Residents living on the third floor of the building will not be permitted back until their homes until a later date, according to fire officials. Tenants on the first two floors, with the exception of the unit directly below the fire, will be permitted to return to their homes.

A Columbus fire battalion chief is calling the fire suspicious at this time. Investigators from the Columbus Fire and Bomb Investigation Unit responded to the scene as well as K-9 units. Anyone with information regarding the fire is asked to contact investigators at 614-645-3011.

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