Faulty wiring where Christmas lights were plugged into a circuit appears to be the cause of a house fire on North Briegel Street in Columbia early Thursday night.
The family was able to safely evacuate the home without injury.
Columbia Fire Chief Mike Roediger said there was a small flame in the attic, but that was knocked down very quickly. Firefighters didn’t have to use much water overall, he said, but were forced to take out about one-third of the living room ceiling and cut other portions of the structure in an effort to locate the source of smoke that was first reported coming from the attic.
“It took us a while to get to it,” Roediger said.
The fire department was called to the home of Jeff and Kari Strobel around 6:30 p.m., and did not clear the scene until after 8 p.m.
The Strobels, who were expecting to host relatives from out of town over the Christmas holiday, were forced to stay in a hotel overnight. The fire chief said he was not sure when the family might be allowed to get back into their home.