Fire Ruled Arson After South Columbus Family Jumps For Safety

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UPDATED: Saturday August 23, 2014 10:54 PM

Fire investigators said a fire that broke in South Columbus early Saturday was the work of an arsonist.

It happened shortly after midnight at Greenfield Apartments.

About 30 people were forced from their homes after the blaze started in a second floor unit.  The flames and smoke were so bad that one family had to jump to safety from a third story window.

Firefighters said a man, a woman and a 10 year-old suffered cuts and bruises while falling and landing in the bushes. They were treated at area hospitals and released.

Leandra Jackson was watching a movie inside a first floor apartment when the fire broke out and managed to get out safely.

"It was scary," said Jackson. "People were crying. It was horrible."

Arson investigators made an arrest shortly after the fire started and criminal charges were filed Saturday morning.

"It was an intentionally set fire in the second floor apartment," said Columbus Battalion Chief Tracy Smith. "It did start to extend out when the individual left the apartment. They left the door open so it allowed the fire to extend."

Work crews were busy boarding up the building Saturday. The fire left eight families without a place to live and others wanting to move.

"I think it is a scary situation," said Lindsay Coleman.  "We have kids that live out here and occupy these apartments and to put them in harm's way. It doesn't make sense."

Arson investigators haven't released the name of the suspect or provided details on a motive.

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