Nebraska News

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Downtown Lincoln high rise fire damages Legal Aid offices; firefighter injured

VIDEO: A 3-alarm fire in downtown Lincoln Monday morning has forced a number of groups to find temporary office space. Alarms sounded at Terminal building at 10th and O streets just before 6 a.m. Fire crews saw flames pouring out of the eighth floor and heavy smoke. Firefighters were able keep the blaze from spreading to other floors but the whole building has water damage according to Battalion Chief Jeremy Gegg. Legal Aid of Nebraska is on the eighth floor of the century-old building. Milo Mumgaard, the organizations executive director, said clients records are backed up electronically and stored in another location, but they have 20 workers to re-locate. One firefighter was treated and released from a Lincoln hospital for an undisclosed injury.

Neighbor rouses family, helps extinguish Kearney area house fire

A watchful neighbor saved the lives of a young couple and their 1-year-old son early Sunday morning in the unincorporated town of Newark in northern Kearney County. Gary Lea, 31, his wife Whitney, 28, and their son were sleeping inside their two-story house at 42 Newark St. around 6 a.m. when their neighbor, Pete Patsios, barged in yelling. Lea had his alarm set for 6:30 a.m., and at first thought Patsios was an intruder. “He came running into the entryway of the house. I couldn’t make out what he was saying, so I just started running at him. He was trying to scream, ‘I’m your neighbor. There’s a fire,’” Lea said. Lea saw the flames coming from the corner of the house, went upstairs to get his son from his crib and to wake up his wife. “I just yanked him out of his crib,” Lea said.
Kearney Hub

Firefighters battle blaze north of Mitchell

Firefighters were called to a fully engulfed fire on Monday night, at about 9:30 p.m. at County Road G and County Road 18. According to scanner traffic, a family of two adults and two children were displaced from the home. Mitchell, Scottsbluff, Scotts Bluff Rural and Morrill Fire Departments had responded to the blaze. Gering Fire Department also responded. Crews left the scene at about 2:30 a.m. Carissa Smith with Firefighter Ministry said the organization assisted Chris and Sara Miller and their son and daughter with all immediate necessities, and the family spent the night with a family member. The ministry will also assist the family with any other additional needs, including referrals for possible rental homes.
Scottsbluff Star Herald

Muddy conditions offer special challenges for rural McCook firefighters

Somehow, a gust of wind must have found a smoldering ember in a tree pile in a pit at Hugh Butler Lake mid-afternoon Sunday and the spreading fire burned several acres of grass and trees. Except for some of those really weedy red cedar trees. The other challenge was the mud and underlying frost. Just envision a 67,000-pound water truck sliding down the hill sideways. Aric Riggins, the Nebraska Game and Parks superintendent at the lake, said this morning that he cut down some trees two weeks ago and burned them in a pit. “I’ve checked it every morning, put water on it, no more smoke, it’s out,” Riggins said. He thinks that a gust of wind must have rekindled some embers, and the fire jumped out of the pit and spread through grass and trees just south of the marina.
McCook Daily Gazette

Holdrege Volunteer Fire school continues to teach latest information to volunteer fire, EMS squad members

An annual fire school continues its focus to teach the latest techniques and information to volunteer fire and EMS squads. More than 190 people are earning six hours of continuing education at the 26th annual Holdrege Volunteer Fire school on Sunday, both out in the field and in the classroom. They're learning everything from how to be a leader, to how to spot a mobile drug lab while on a call. Organizers say while some departments may still be struggling to get new members, changes are beginning to happen. "It's not like we used to get volunteers knocking on the door," said South Central Nebrska Volunteer Firefighter's Association President Dudley Karlson.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Bellevue Fire Department earns city higher insurance rating

Improvements in fire department staffing, training and response times could lead to lower insurance rates for Bellevue-area residents and businesses. Bellevue Fire Chief Perry Guido recently announced that New Jersey-based Insurance Services Office has raised Bellevue’s fire protection ranking from a 3 to a 2, while rural areas in the Eastern Sarpy Rural Fire Protection District served by the Bellevue Fire Department saw their ranking climb from 5 to 4. Rankings are on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the highest rated. ISO is a leading supplier of data to the insurance industry, which relies on its reports to set insurance rates for communities around the country. Guido said the improvements are attributable to a “comprehensive show of improvements in many areas of the fire department, including staffing, training and response times.” Sarpy News

Update: Omaha fire union says it met deadline for contract negotiations

Omaha’s fire union gave the city proper notice to reopen labor negotiations, the union’s president said in a letter to Mayor Jean Stothert on Thursday. Union President Steve LeClair pointed to an email he sent to Fire Chief Dan Olsen on Jan. 27. In it, LeClair referenced nearing “negotiations with the City of Omaha for a successor agreement” and said the union would be requesting information from the city “in preparation for the negotiation.” In Thursday’s letter, LeClair wrote that, with this new information, “we can get down to the business of negotiating a successor agreement.” But Stothert said that LeClair “absolutely did not” meet the Feb. 1 deadline to reopen negotiations and that he admitted as much in an earlier letter.
Omaha World-Herald

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