Apartment fire on Stadium forces residents to evacuate

Due to damages, the apartment might not be livable for months.

An apartment fire forced tenants to evacuate early Tuesday morning and left extensive damage. The fire happened shortly after 1 a.m. at the Holiday House Apartments on N. Stadium Boulevard.

The fire department received the call after the occupant awoke from the sound of the smoke alarm to find his bedding and other materials on fire where he was sleeping.

“The occupant attempted to douse the fire with a bucket of water before realizing the fire was out of control,” a news release from the City of Columbia Missouri Fire Department stated.

He then dialed 911 and knocked on the doors of other apartments to alert them of the fire.

“At the time of the fire we evacuated the entire building,” Battalion Chief Steven Sapp said. “Most of the residents with the exception of the victim, whose apartment caught on fire, were allowed to return.”

The occupant suffered minor burn injuries to the hand and face, but refused any further medical attention. The individual apartment unit was damaged too extensively for the resident to return.

“It’ll take weeks, if not months, of repair work before he can move back in,” Sapp said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Sapp said this fire was unusual because of the additional equipment used specifically for the snow.

“In this operational period of blizzard warning, we’re also sending the fire department snowplow and the fire department bus out on many calls,” Sapp said.

The snowplow is used to help get through heavy snow when drifts otherwise slow emergency vehicles down. The bus is used to accommodate people who have to evacuate, providing them with shelter from the cold and snowy conditions.

“So when you get displaced from your house and don’t have time to grab anything, we can provide you with blankets, coffee and hot chocolate,” Sapp said. “We really take care of our customers.”

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