Columbus police are searching for two boys wanted for questioning about the Thursday afternoon fire at Whisperwood Apartments that officials are calling an arson.
Columbus Fire Marshal Ricky Shores said firefighters were called to 6300 Milgen Road around 1:25 p.m. Thursday to extinguish the fire. Shores said one firefighter suffered a minor injury, but no one else was harmed.
Shores said the blaze started in the building with apartments 1275 through 1282, causing up to $700,000 worth of damage and displacing 25 residents. It didn’t spread to any other structures, officials said.
“It is our determination that the fire was intentionally set on the outside of the structure,” Shores said.
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Officials are searching for two boys between 12 and 16 years old. They were seen entering the apartment building in blue hoodies shortly before it caught fire, Shores said.
“They allegedly had a canister that was consistent with a charcoal lighter fluid container, so obviously we would like to speak with them,” he said.
Shores said they are still investigating the cause of the fire, but they believe it was intentionally set.
Edrica Edwards and Chelsea Anderson, who live at Whisperwood, said they were in their apartment when two young boys alerted them about the fire. Edwards said the boys told her there were tires in the woods behind the apartment building nearby.
Edwards said they asked her to call 911 and she did.
“By the time I came out, the roof was on fire there on the left side,” Edwards said. “Through time, it started expanding and spreading.”
Anderson said she’s just grateful that no one was seriously injured in the blaze.
“I’m glad everyone was safe,” Anderson said. “I’m glad everyone was able to make it out.”