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Firefighters treated for heat exposure in Downtown Columbia blaze; Tellers to be closed ‘until further notice’

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A fire broke out Friday afternoon on the top floor of a Downtown Columbia building, requiring firefighters to be treated for heat exposure.

Authorities closed down Ninth Street and Broadway, according to an alert from Boone County dispatchers at about 1 p.m. The fire was in the business offices of the True/False Film Fest on the second floor of the building that houses Tellers restaurant and bar.

Tellers had significant water damage, said Columbia Fire Department Assistant Chief Jeffrey Heidenreich. Firefighters found "heavy fire" pouring out of windows on the rear of the second floor, he said. A second alarm was called because of the size of the building and the firefighters' heat exposure, he said.

In all, 30 firefighters were at the scene, Heidenreich said. Several firefighters went down because of heat but were treated at the scene, he said. No one else was injured.

Firefighters also ventilated the building next door because of high carbon dioxide levels.

Firefighters remained on scene for several hours to be sure that there were no hot spots left in the building. The crews left around 6 p.m.

Heidenreich said firefighters weren't sure of the cause. People filled the sidewalks around the closed area to get a look at the blaze.

The building underwent extensive renovations over the summer and is likely more than 100 years old, said Nickie Davis, executive director of The District, a downtown business organization.

True/False Film Fest posted on its Twitter page that staff in its Ninth Street office got out safely.

Tellers later shared two posts on its Facebook page stating that the restaurant would be closed "for the foreseeable future."

"You may have heard, seen, or smelled what happened today downtown. We will be closed until further notice," the business wrote in one post.

Check back for updates to this developing story.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia

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Matthew Sanders

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