Two Separate Fires Destroy Buildings

Lincoln firefighters were called to a South Lincoln neighborhood early Friday morning where a fire broke out at a 7-unit apartment house. The blaze left 5 families homeless. Fire officials say a lit cigarette caused the blaze that started in the basement. Two people were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation but later released. City fire inspectors say it will be a matter of weeks before some of the residents can move back in. However, it will take months to repair the basement and first floor apartments. The Red Cross offered assistance to those families.

Meanwhile, investigators are still searching for what caused a local school to go up in flames. The fire started at the Nebraska Institute of Technology. At least a half million dollars in equipment and computers burned. Firefighters were forced out of the structure when the roof collapsed. The school has been in Lincoln for about four years. It's been declared a total loss. There is only about eight students. School officials are now looking for an alternative place to hold classes.