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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WLTX) - Three families are out of their homes after an early morning fire Tuesday damaged their housing unit.

It happened at a housing complex on the 2700 block of Howell Court in Columbia.

Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins says the fire started on or near the stove of one of the apartments. He says smoke then traveled into two other apartments, forcing all three families to leave.

An exact cause of the fire and a damage estimate have not yet been determined.

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