The Columbia Fire Department said on Wednesday an electrical cause could not be ruled for last weekend’s fire that destroyed at warehouse in north Columbia.
The call first came in at 3:27 a.m. Sunday and crews arrived at 4212 Bold Venture near Smiley Lane and Rangeline by 3:34 a.m. The warehouse section in the back of the building was already engulfed in flames.
A sign in front of the building indicated it was a commercial space with offices and showrooms for rent. Officials say the occupants had moved out but it is unclear if they had removed all of their things.
They say they conducted an exterior attack. ABC 17 News crews also saw two aerial ladders dosing the flames with water. Firefighters knocked down the fire in 30 minutes.
They continued to check for hot spots about five hours after the initial call. Crews on scene told ABC 17 the roof collapsed into the fire so they had to dig through the rubble to make sure all of the embers were out and not smoldering.
A representative from the building was working a bulldozer to knock down the walls left standing. He said with the winds mid-Missouri has been experiencing, if someone were to be walking near the building, the walls could easily fall with a strong gust.
On Wednesday the department said it now believes everything started in the southwest corner, but the building is so large and most of it burnt to the ground, so the investigation was difficult. Damages are estimated at $150,000.
Stay with ABC 17 News for more updates on this story.