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Fire at senior living high-rise in Columbia leads to sprinkler water damage, several residents impacted

Columbia-Richland Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins said that, while a system helped contain a small fire, it also caused damage that has impacted several residents.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Firefighters and the American Red Cross are working to get several residents of a senior living high-rise temporarily housed after a fire activated sprinklers, causing water damage and forcing crews to cut power to certain parts.

Columbia-Richland Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins said a fire occurred in a unit on the 17th floor of Christopher Towers located on Devine Street near Blossom and Barnwell streets.

Jenkins said preliminary findings suggest a candle fell on a couch and ignited it. One resident who was in the room at the time of the fire received minor injuries but is OK, the chief said.

And while the sprinkler system activated and prevented major fire damage, the system itself did leave water damage with power also having to be cut to roughly 64 units housing an estimated 65 residents.

And while there are a handful of empty units that were unaffected by the damage that some will be able to move into, Jenkins said others will either need to be housed with family or receive housing assistance from the American Red Cross.

Aside from the person who was in the room at the time the couch caught fire, there have been no other reports of injuries, Jenkins said.

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