Steve Martin, battalion chief of the Columbus Division of Fire, told the Columbus Jewish News the Dec. 24 fire in a Bexley family home was found to be accidental.
The early morning fire was caused by electrical wiring in a floor outlet under a sofa in the home’s sun room, Martin said in an email.
The Abeles family – Andy and Rachel, and their three young children, Cobi, Emery and Micah – survived the fire. They are members of Congregation Tifereth Israel in Columbus.
Officials on the scene told WBNS the flames spread to the second floor and into a stairwell. Officials said there is significant damage to the home.
A relative set up a GoFundMe account for the Abeles family and as of Jan. 10, it has raised $30,625, from 323 donors, surpassing its goal of $30,000. Friends of the family also set up a Take Them a Meal page to provide food for the family.
The family is also encouraging community members to make contributions to one of their preferred charities, including the Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus, JewishColumbus, Tifereth Israel, Pedal the Cause in memory of Eli Abeles, and The James Cancer Center at The Ohio State University in memory of Claudia Rinkov.