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      Columbia apartment fire send man to hospital

      A fire in Columbia on Friday sent a man to the hospital.

      It happened just before 5:30 a.m. in the 1400-block of Bass Avenue.

      The 9-1-1 caller said she smelled smoke in the building and could see smoke coming from one of apartment's windows.When Columbia Firefighters arrived on the scene they saw smoke coming from a second floor window on the east side of the three story, 23 unit apartment building.

      Firefighters evacuated the building and located the fire in one of the apartments.

      Fire crews found a futon-type mattress on fire in the apartment and extinguished it.The apartment??s resident, a 59-year-old man, was leaving the apartment as firefighters arrived at his door.

      He was taken to Boone Hospital for possible smoke inhalation.Columbia Fire Department Investigator Lt. Lisa Todd determined the cause of the fire was smoking materials that ignited bedding material.

      Damages are estimated to be $2000.

      There were no working smoke alarms in the apartment."Fortunately this fire was discovered and reported before it caused significant damage or loss of life" said Columbia Fire Captain John Metz. "Working smoke alarms reduce your risk of dying in a fire by 50%. They are essential to provide the early warning needed to safely escape a fire. Had an alert neighbor not been awake at such an early hour, the outcome might have been tragic"Metz said.