Hilliard Northwest News

Fire that destroyed Columbus home May 8 ruled accidental

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A Columbus home in the 5000 block of Cortez Passage, just south of Roberts Road and east of Hilliard-Rome Road, was destroyed in a fire May 8.

Fighting the fire required alternative transportation for Hilliard school students because of the large number of fire trucks and apparatus blocking the road, said Norwich Township Battalion Chief Chris Grile.

School district officials were at the site to ensure children living in the area were returned safely home because normal bus routes were disrupted, Grile said.

Beacon Elementary School Principal Betsy Long rode the bus to make sure her students got home, said Stacie Raterman, a spokeswoman for Hilliard City Schools.

Students from Hilliard Station Sixth Grade School and Heritage Middle School also were on the bus but their routes were not disturbed, Raterman said.

Multiple callers reported the blaze to the Columbus Division of Fire at 12:07 p.m., said Columbus Division of Fire Battalion Chief Tracy Smith.

"The fire has been ruled accidental, but its origin remains under investigation," Smith said.

No one was home at time of the fire, Smith said.

"It was an intense fire and fully involved when we arrived," Grile said.

The blaze caused severe exposure damage to one house and moderate damage to the others on either side of the home where the fire originated, Grile said.

Two occupants in one of the adjacent residents safely evacuated and the other was not occupied, Smith said.

The structure that burned is a total loss, Smith said.

Fire departments from Columbus, Upper Arlington, Grandview Heights and Norwich, Franklin and Prairie townships responded to the blaze.

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