Worried Wolfe might be inside the home, neighbor Scott Mullins forced open the front door and yelled for him, but there was no response, as the homeowner had left about 30 minutes earlier to go to the grocery store.
Unaware of this, members of the Columbia Fire Department worked with the knowledge that someone might be trapped inside. Crews arrived within three minutes of being dispatched and, despite the smoke obscuring visibility, firefighters immediately entered the home to search for occupants. Another group found and extinguished the fire, which was under control in about ten minutes.
Wolfe arrived about 15 minutes after firefighters did and confirmed that, although there were two cars parked in the driveway, no one was inside the home.
The fire began in electrical outlet in the laundry room, which was heavily damaged by the fire. The rest of the two-bedroom, single-story home sustained heavy smoke damage. The damage estimate for both the building and its contents was $40,000. Wolfe, who will be staying with nearby family, indicated to fire officials that he had homeowner's insurance.