Fire destroys elderly woman's home overnight - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Fire destroys elderly woman's home overnight

By Roslyn Giles – bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - An elderly woman saw smoke inside her Appolo Drive in south Columbus, but she didn't realize it was a fire in the making.  The lady was having breathing problems and called a relative to pick her up around 10 p.m. He took her to a sister's house nearby. 

Four hours later, a firefighter and a neighbor were at the sister's home to alert them--the lady's house at, 70 Appolo Drive, was on fire Tuesday morning.

Firefighters believe the home had been burning for quite some time before they arrived.

"I went to get a drink of water and I noticed smoke coming from her home.  I ran over there and kicked in the back door, but the fire started coming out the door. I was trying to get in because I thought she was in there," explained Robert Henry, who lives next door to the burning home on Appolo Drive.

Firefighters got the blaze under control within 40 minutes -- mainly because of the home dialysis equipment and oxygen tanks located in the back bedroom.  "Pressurized containers like that can explode in situations like these, but we got to it in time," added Captain Scott Boatner, with the Columbus Fire Department.

An interior search revealed no one was inside.  Henry said he was relieved to know his Godmother was safe. 

The victim returned home after getting word of the destruction. She told News Leader 9, she was giving herself a dialysis treatment when she noticed the smoke. She started having problems breathing and wanted to get out.  Henry added, "She's disabled and didn't know."

Authorities tell us the home is a total loss, with an estimated damage of $100,000. The victim expects to replace her belongings through her homeowner's insurance. 

No one was injured. The fire rekindled after 6 a.m. but firefighters quickly returned to extinguish the hot spot.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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