House fires in Lincoln area total nearly $1 million in damage in 12 hours

LINCOLN, Neb (KLKN) – A number of house fires were reported in the Lincoln area in recent days, all in below freezing temperatures.

One home was destroyed, and two others sustained heavy damage in a span of just 12 hours.

The three fires caused a combined $980,000 in damage.

The first and biggest fire was at a house near 176th and East O Streets on Sunday. It was a total loss, with damage estimated at $700,000.

That fire started around 2:20 p.m.

Chief Deputy Ben Houchin of the Lancaster County Sheriff’s office says no one was injured, but the family’s dog Frosty was killed.

“And as you knew, yesterday the temperature was horrendous, so I feel for the firemen that had to go out there and do what they had to do at that point,” Houchin said.

Fire crews from Waverly, Ashland, Bennet, Southeast Rural and Eagle all fought the blaze in freezing temperatures.

Bennet Fire Chief Tim Norris said when the departments work together, they share resources and equipment to make the process easier.

“We are all more than willing to help when our neighbor needs it,” he said. “Because we know that when we have a structure fire, we’re gonna need their help, too.”

Norris pointed to a fire in Bennet last year in which other rural fire departments came to help despite the cold weather.

“It happens, and so we just have to be there to help our brothers and sisters out the best we can,” he said. “Lincoln has its different engine companies. That’s kind of how it is in the rural; we have our different engine companies, and we make assignments, and we fulfill the mission.”

He also said that while there was a lot of ice and it was difficult to keep the equipment from freezing up, firefighters were still able to handle the blaze.

Later Sunday, another fire started around 10:30 p.m. at a house near 29th and Vine streets.

Lincoln Fire & Rescue said that fire caused about $250,000 in damage.

No one was injured, but one dog had to be revived and was receiving treatment.

The family has also been relocated by the Red Cross.

LFR said the fire was caused by faulty wiring in a space heater on the porch and spread to the rest of the house.

The last fire was near 30th and D streets, just before 1 a.m. Monday.

LFR said everyone made it out of that fire safely, but the fire did about $30,000 in damage.

Authorities say the cause was a discarded cigarette in a second-story bedroom.

The residents have been relocated.

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