Fire causes $75,000 in damage at a Lincoln motel

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – A fire started Tuesday morning in a room at the Deluxe Inn off Cornhusker Highway, causing nearly $75,000 in damage, Lincoln Fire & Rescue said.

The call came in shortly after 10:30 a.m. after a passerby alerted the motel when they saw smoke coming from the building.

Battalion Chief Curt Faust said the fire was started by combustible material, such as a suitcase and clothing, that was sitting up against the heating unit.

He said the heating unit turned on and got hot enough to ignite the materials.

The room was unoccupied when the blaze started, and no one was injured.

Faust said the passerby noticed smoke coming from the door to the room. The person had a fire extinguisher, but because the room was filled with smoke, the individual decided to keep the door closed and call 911.

Faust said that decision likely gave the firefighters some more time to get to the fire before it could get out of control.

After the fire was put out, Faust said his crews smelled natural gas.  LFR called Black Hills Energy to come out and check on the odor and get the gas turned off.

Faust said this was the second fire within four hours to have been started by a heating unit.

He said this time of year, when it is starting to get cold out, to remember to give ample space between your heating unit and any combustible material.  The rule of thumb is that at least 18 inches around the unit should be open.

Faust also said it’s a good time to check your heaters and smoke detectors.

He said if your smoke detector is chirping even after you changed the battery, it most likely means the sensor is expired and you need to replace the detector.

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