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Fifth Street fire ruled undetermined by Columbus Fire

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Posted at 11:46 AM, Dec 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-16 17:41:00-05

COLUMBUS — An overnight fire in Columbus slightly injured three firefighters and damaged two buildings.

Firefighters responded just before midnight Saturday to 440 5th Street and discovered the fire also spread to 422 5th Street.

According to property management, both are commercial office buildings with no residential occupancies. The buildings house several businesses including The Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, Bailey and Wood Financial Group, Arnholt and Staggs Law Office and TD Advertising.

In addition to the cold temperatures, parts of both buildings collapsed while crews worked to extinguish the fire. A large portion of the third story façade of 422 5th Street collapsed onto 5th Street, damaging a fire engine.

On Dec. 16, the Columbus Fire Department ruled the cause of the fire undetermined. The fire started in a ground level storage building attached to both addresses. Fire officials say the investigation was limited due to the structure of the building and collapse hazards.

“The fire will remain undetermined due to the fact that the building is too unsafe to conduct further investigation as is outlined under the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards,” said Columbus Fire Department Investigator Troy Todd.

Firefighters worked for about four hours to put out the fire. Three Columbus Firefighters sustained slight injuries from falling at the scene.

The Columbus Fire Department says 5th Street will be closed to traffic between Washington Street and Franklin Street for an undetermined period of time.

The cause of the fire is unknown and no damage estimates are available.

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Columbus Firefighters responded to the 400 block of 5th Street for a report of a commercial building fire on Dec. 3, 2022.