Two dozen vehicles destroyed in grass fire near Crete

The Crete Fire Department says the fire was accidental, confirming that the tenants did have a burn permit.

CRETE, Neb. (KLKN) — At least 24 vehicles were destroyed Wednesday in a grass fire northwest of Crete.

Crete Assistant Fire Chief James Yost said crews arrived at County Road E and County Road 2100 to find multiple vehicles and two outbuildings on fire.

The tenants at the property were burning trash, briefly went inside and returned to find that the fire had spread, according to the Crete Fire Department.

“Right now, with extremely dry temperatures [and] conditions we have, today being a warm day, probably was not a great day to be burning,” Yost said.

He confirmed that the tenants did have a burn permit.

“In the city of Crete, we allow recreational fires that are in a small fire pit with sawn lumber, and a graded covering,” Yost said. “But when you get out to the rural setting, when you have brush piles, or CRP grass and property owners who want to burn those off, there are certain criteria that have to be met before we would allow them to burn.”

 

The home was in danger, but crews were able to protect it, he said.

Channel 8 spoke with the property owner, who said the damage is easily in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Much of the damaged material is not insured. The owner had been storing the used vehicles for parts.

“Unfortunately, he’s lost a lot of his inventory,” Yost said.

Agencies from Friend, Dorchester, Wilber, Milford, Pleasant Dale and Hickman also responded to the blaze.

 

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