Automatic alarm alerts Columbus firefighters to house fire on 18th Avenue

An automated fire alarm linked to Columbus' 911 emergency center spared a house near Lakebottom Park extensive damage from an electrical fire today, authorities said.

Though the resident wasn't home, the fire likely caused by old electrical wiring set off an alarm that alerted 911 dispatchers shortly after 1 p.m., said Battalion 1 Chief Les Talley.

Talley said firefighters arriving at the 2207 18th Ave. house saw smoke and could feel heat through the windows, so they forced their way in an, hearing the wires sizzling within a wall, broke through and doused the fire.

Had the house not had the automated alarm, flames would have reach the attic and spread, causing much more extensive damage, Talley said. He said the fire started in a kitchen.

He recommended that people buying older houses have a thorough electrical inspection, and that all homeowners consider installing an alarm system that will protect their property when they're away.