Morning fire sends one woman to hospital

Posted By: Kelsey Murphy

Smoke filled the second floor of Elizabeth Stabler Retirement Home, near 27th and Fair St. Friday morning.

"I couldn’t see five feet in front of us, so you know the hallway is long and the were doors shut, we could not see anything in front of us," Mark Scherer, resident, said.

Lincoln Fire and Rescue says a woman was smoking while using an oxygen machine. It sparked and set her chair on fire.

The apartments are a retirement home for the elderly or immobile.

“I was more worried for my neighbors. You know my neighbors here are mostly older, or physically disabled, so it is just a little bit concerning. It was real hard to breathe,” Scherer, said.

LFR says they had to make a quick decision when it came down to resident safety, making the call on weather to take the time to help them evacuate, or keep the fire from spreading to them.

"It’s a big challenge. One of the decisions we have to make quickly is are they better off being evacuated, or can we protect them at the shelter in place," Battalion Chief Jim Bopp, Lincoln Fire and Rescue, said.

In this case, LFR did evacuate the residents. They say the smoke filled too much of the complex.

Officials tell me everyone made it out.

Three or 4 people were treated for minor health issues after evacuating.

 The woman using the oxygen treatment was taken to St. Elizabeth’s burn unit.

No update has been given on that woman’s condition.

Everyone was able to move back into their apartment about an hour after the fire was out.

The Red Cross stayed on the scene to help any residents who may need assistance.