Cause of deadly Columbia fire ruled accidental

The fire that killed Irmo Firefighter James Muller on May 26 at the Tropical Ridge Apartments in Columbia was caused by unattended cooking and has been ruled an accident according to Columbia-Richland Fire Department Chief Aubrey Jenkins.

The fire started around a stove in one of the apartments.

The three-alarm fire destroyed one of 14 apartment buildings in the complex off Stoneridge Drive near Greystone Boulevard and displaced 19 people.
Seven firefighters were injured after at least three of them had to be rescued from inside the burning, collapsing building.

Muller was among the firefighters who were inside the building when it collapsed, trapping him and two others. The funeral for the 25-year-old firefighter was May 31.