UPDATE: Firefighters respond to two fires

By: Kayla Bremer

Two large simultaneous house fires Monday afternoon kept firefighters on the move.

They were called to a home in south Lincoln near 56th and Old Cheney that quickly became a 2–alarm fire. Investigators say the blaze was caused by an electrical failure in the floor joist. Damage is estimated to be around $250 thousand.

Then a second fire broke out at a house near 40th and A St., engulfing the garage in flames.

Two big incidents like these at the same time forced LFR to activate a plan to call in off duty firefighters.

“It makes it tough for our responders to get to calls for service in a reasonable amount of time so by bringing in those extra crews, we're able to spread that work load,” Battalion Chief Dennis Clark said.

Clark says call backs don't happen very often. However, in a situation such as Monday's, additional crews are needed to fill extra rigs to respond to the other calls throughout the rest of the city and also help the firefighters who are on scene battling the flames.

“They will call crews back just for rehab purposes,” Clark said. “To bring those call back crews to the fire scene and then have them work the fire scene and relieve the active duty crews so they can get back to their stations and rehab.”

In both of Monday's fires, no one was injured but several pets did die including two dogs, two cats and several birds.

Clark says their first priority is always people but they do their best to save people's pets.

“Many times people will let us know they do have a pet inside and when we're operating in those structures we will look for these pets and if we can get them out and save them we will.”

Inspectors are still investigating the house fire near 42nd and Mohawk.


Posted By: Hannah Paczkowski

After spending the morning with her good friend, Susan Nelsons said she was shocked when she saw that friend's home up in flames.

“I was just with her five minutes ago and then to think, 'oh my gosh this is how quickly something can happen,” she said.

Susan's friend lives in a Cripple Creek home. The entire neighborhood was filled with smoke as fire crews battled the blaze just after 1 p.m.

The total damage is estimated to be more than $250 thousand.

No one was home at the time, but unfortunately, some birds died inside. Thankfully, one pet was saved. The homeowner had her dog with her during the fire, which was a relief for the rest of the family and neighbors.

“The first question of all the neighbors and all the friends was 'what about Marley?'” Susan said.

 Meanwhile, about an hour later, firefighters were battling another blaze near 42nd and Mohawk. Crews had to call in for back-up, but with the other fire near Cripple Creek, having enough crews was a challenge.

“It is a little bit more difficult because we've got a lot of our crews operating in the SE part of town on another 2 alarm fire. When that happens we have to make some adjustments to get our crews to the other incidents in the city,” LFR Battalion Chief Tim Linke said.

Fire inspectors estimate about $120 thousand worth of damage to the home.

Four pets died in this fire, two dogs and two cats.  Even in this time of tragedy, Susan said it's important to remember the lives that were not taken during these fires.

“There's hardship and there's trials in life, but it doesn't mean that you can't rise above them or overcome, and with faith and God all things are possible,” she said.

Inspectors said they're still investigating the cause for both fires.