Garage damaged in morning fire

Jefferson City firefighters roll up the hose after battling a garage fire at a residence on Westwood Drive Thursday morning. Several people reportedly were in the house when the fire ignited but everyone got out safely.

Jefferson City firefighters roll up the hose after battling a garage fire at a residence on Westwood Drive Thursday morning. Several people reportedly were in the house when the fire ignited but everyone got out safely. Photo by Julie Smith.

A house fire on Westwood Drive damaged the owner’s garage, but the remainder of the building — albeit smoky — likely still will be livable, according to Jefferson City fire personnel.

Assistant Chief Tim Grace said the interior of the home “is fine,” but the garage suffered about $10,000 in damages.

The fire threatened several teenagers who were staying in the home, but no one was injured. Pets were saved as well.

Dispatchers received the 911 call at 9:48 a.m. Thursday. Fire personnel responded to 915 Westwood Drive by 9:52 a.m. and extinguished the blaze immediately.

“When we arrived, there was smoke coming from three sides of the building and flames in the garage,” Grace said.

Neighbor John Downs was working in his yard when he noticed smoke pouring from turbines on the home’s roof. At first, he thought it was a problem with the fireplace, but when he peered into the open garage he noticed flames.

Downs immediately started to pound on the front door to notify the residents.

“I was yelling … I kept beating on the front door,” he said.

After a few minutes, one of the home’s residents, Andrew Garrison, the 19-year-old son of the homeowner, answered the door.

Garrison was one of about six young people who were sleeping in the home’s lower level when the blaze broke out. Garrison said he warned the other teens and tried to douse the fire with water.

“I was the last one out,” he said.

Garrison told firefighters the blaze likely was caused by a car battery that was hooked to a charger in the garage. He surmised that sparks may have ignited a stack of papers and magazines sitting on a desk in the garage.

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