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House Fire North of Columbia

***UPDATE 5 P.M.***A Boone County man, now left homeless after a morning fire, is speaking out and claims the entire situation could have been avoided.One resident is blaming the landlord for shutting off water to the building. Michael Brown says he could see a fire on the first floor from his second floor apartment. He claims that if he had running water, he would have been able to put out the flames sooner.”He shut our water off a week ago,” said Brown, blaming the landlord for his inability to help fight the fire.Brown says the homeowner, who is also the owner of nearby Mari’s Convenience Store, turned off water to the building because of late rent payments. “I was telling him that if he’d left the water on, I could’ve got the fire put out with a couple buckets instead of all this damage,” said Brown.The homeowner Rafiqui Khan refutes Brown’s story.”There isn’t water, that’s true, but how did he see because the fire started in the bottom, so he’s one of the big suspects,” said Khan. “His statement as of now is contradictory.”Khan told ABC 17 News that Brown was going to be served eviction papers Friday morning. Although investigators currently believe electrical issues started the fire, Khan believes that’s only part of it.”No, no electrical problem,” said Khan. “Because the people I try to kick out and they lose the electricity and they try to jump start the meter or mess up the circuit breaker.”The building is considered a total loss. The investigation is ongoing.***UPDATE 10:05 A.M.***Boone County fire officials say Thursday’s fire was at 1071 Wildwood, which is a four-plex. Fire investigators have determined that it started in a utility closet in the lower level and burned through the first floor and out the roof.All four units are uninhabitable. Three units were occupied at the time, but no one was hurt. The cause is still under investigation and state fire marshal’s office has been called in to investigate. There is no damage estimate.Fire investigators say the fire was contained to just 1071 Wildwood. There is a neighboring four-plex at 1069 Wildwood that suffered fire damage from a blaze that happened earlier this year, however, fire officials say it is not connected to the Thursday’s fire. ***UPDATE 6:57 A.M.***The home on fire appears to be a total loss, according to our crew on scene, who also say the house next door may have suffered some smoke and other damage. At this point there do not appear to be any injuries.***ORIGINAL STORY***Firefighters are on the scene of a house fire on Wildwood Street north of Columbia. Our crew at the scene says the home appears to have suffered heavy damage. Crews from the Boone County Fire Protection District and Columbia Fire Department are on scene right now.Watch ABC 17 News and stay with for the latest.

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