Man hospitalized following Wednesday morning fire - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Man hospitalized following Wednesday morning fire

Posted by KLKN

Wednesday morning's fire happened just after 6:30 near 35th and D Streets.

Lincoln Fire and Rescue said they found a 93–year–old man inside the two–story home.

"There were several other people in the house who had made it out prior to our arrival," said Battalion Chief Jeremy Gegg.  "So at this time, we just have one injury, one person with life–threatening injuries."

LFR said the fire appears to have been an accident with an electrical cause.  They said the house had no working smoke detectors.

Jeffrey Casavant said he and several other neighbors tried to get in the home before fire fighters showed up.  But the smoke was so thick, he didn't think anyone would make it back out.

"The smoke was just so heavy," Casavant said.  "It was only a foot off the floor at the point."

He said his wife and several other people tried to call 911 six or eight times, only to get a rapid busy signal.  Eventually, he said, they got through by calling the non–emergency line.

"The biggest concern for us was just how long it took to actually get someone to get started coming," Casavant said.  "In a fire like that, minutes are lives.  So, a couple minutes can be life and death, and so that's why 911 is so important."

Lincoln police said the busy signal happens when the 911 system is overloaded with calls, and that the new system works fine.

They said the victim has been taken to st. Elizabeth hospital but have not released his name or condition.

LFR said the fire was confined to one room and they were able to control it in about 20 minutes.  No word on how much damage at this time.

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