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A fire igniting shortly after 11:30 p.m. Tuesday evening caused a substantial amount of damage to a Columbus home.

Local firefighters were dispatched at 11:44 p.m. to the 3600 block of 23rd Avenue in reference to a house fire that resulted in two adults exiting the residence and phoning for help.

Arriving at the scene, Fire Chief Dan Miller said the rear portion of the house was up in flames and that it took a little more than an hour for the blaze to get under control. First responders, he said, tackled the fire with three attack lines and 22 personnel. Nine firefighting vehicles were present at the scene, he added.

Miller estimated that approximately $200,000 in damages occurred from the situation.

“It all depends what their insurance company wants to do and what they would want to repair versus replace,” he said of the homeowner(s)’ options in the wake of the incident. “With this fire, it was really borderline (of being a total loss)."

Miller said that the fire call actually came in a little slower than usual – there may have been an issue with a landline phone relating to the fire.

“It sounds like there was some sort of delay on the call to 911,” he said. “And that might have allowed for some advanced growth prior to the fire department’s arrival.”

The Nebraska fire marshal arrived at the scene after midnight Wednesday and was there until about 3 a.m. An investigation is underway and an official report must be completed determining a definitive cause of the fire.

It was determined, though, that the fire likely started in the living room area of the home, Miller said.

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at

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