Nebraska News

Friday, December 3, 2021

Transformer blows at University of Nebraska Omaha’s oldest building

A faulty transformer at UNO’s oldest classroom building led to an evacuation and the temporary closure of four buildings at the school’s Dodge campus. Sometime after 2:30 p.m. Wednesday a brief fire in a transformer on the east side of the building led to a power outage in the building known as ASH. The school canceled classes, activities, and meetings for the rest of the day at the Arts & Sciences Hall, Roskens Hall, Kayser Hall, and the Eppley Administration Building. As of late Wednesday evening, all buildings had been reopened except Arts and Sciences Hall. Arts and Sciences Hall was still being repaired and the emergency generator had not yet been activated as of 10:30 p.m., but a statement released electronically to UNO students earlier in the evening said that all buildings would be open Thursday.

Six cases of Omicron variant detected in Southeast Nebraska

Six cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus have been detected among residents in the Public Health Solutions District in Nebraska. The health district covers Fillmore, Gage, Jefferson, Saline, and Thayer counties of southeast Nebraska. According to the local health department, the first case was likely exposed during international travel to Nigeria. The person returned on Nov. 23 and became symptomatic on Nov. 24. PHS said the five remaining cases were likely exposed through household contact with the first case. Only one of the six people infected were vaccinated. So far, none have required hospitalization. PHS said they are still conducting contract tracing. The patient self-identified their travel history, sought testing, and alerted PHS.
KOLN-TV CBS 10/KGIN-TV CBS 11 Lincoln-Grand Island

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Grass fire ignites south of Ogallala

No injuries to people or livestock were reported during a grass fire south of Ogallala on Tuesday afternoon. Ogallala Volunteer Firefighters responded to the blaze at 12:20 p.m. and battled the fire for 90 minutes. Officials remained on scene for additional two and half hours. Mutual aid from Brule, Keystone, Paxton and Grant fire departments was called to help protect roads and structures. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. No structures were damaged. The total number of acres burned has not been announced. "Folks, it’s dry out there," the OVFD said in a statement. "Area conditions are a powder keg. Please be extra diligent with any outdoor activities that could cause ignition." The Keith County Sheriff's office also responded to the scene.
News Channel Nebraska

Axtell Volunteer Fire and Rescue earns higher ISO class rating

The combined efforts of the Axtell Volunteer Fire and Rescue and Axtell community have helped the fire department earn a new ISO class rating, which could mean better insurance rates for homeowners. The Axtell Volunteer Fire and Rescue received a Public Protection Class 3 rating from the Insurance Services Office after an analysis of the structural fire suppression delivery system, according to a press release. Axtell previously was rated an ISO Class 4 in 2014 when its rating improved from ISO Class 5. Axtell Fire Chief Jeff England explains that the rating helps determine homeowners’ insurance rates in a community. “It’s a third-party review of the capabilities of a department,” he said.
Kearney Hub - Metered Site

Nebraska’s Fire Season Usually Ends in October, It’s Still Going Now

Nebraska's wildfire season was both longer and more intense than usual. The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency said the season is not over yet. Last year, the Hubbard Gap Fire in western Nebraska burned about 4,000 acres, but this year, Gov. Pete Ricketts declared six wildfires as state emergencies. Earl Imler with the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency said the fire behaviors this year were different. "It was just a number of fires this year," he said. "It was a long fire season. It started in June, which normally our fire season will start in July. Now that doesn't mean we don't get fires prior to that, but this started in June. There was just not a whole lot of relief from it. It kept going." Imler said it was unusual when the Buffalo Creek Fire burned through western Nebraska in mid-November, because usually by then the area has cooled down."
Nebraska Public Media

Employees, customers temporarily evacuated after fire at Norfolk Hy-Vee

A midday fire brought firefighters to a Hy-Vee in Norfolk, and sent employees and customers temporarily outside of the building. Firefighters were called to Hy-Vee West on Taylor Avenue shortly before noon with what is believed to be a kitchen fire. Witnesses reported seeing flames, and smoke remained visible until after noon. While employees and customers were temporarily evacuated, they returned to the building before 12:30. No injuries were reported on scene. No other details are available at this time.
News Channel Nebraska

Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office identifies man who died in suspicious fire

The Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office has identified the man who died in a suspicious fire last week. Christopher L. McKitrick, 53, was formerly of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Next of kin has been notified. At approximately 3:10 a.m. Nov. 23, a grass fire was reported east of Kearney near the intersection of Coal Chute Rd and Highway 10. The Kearney Volunteer Fire Department was called to the scene and discovered a small grass fire of unknown origin. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. Shortly after 9 a.m. Nov. 23, medical personnel were called to transport McKitrick from Crossroads Shelter in Kearney to CHI Health Good Samaritan for medical treatment for severe burn injuries.
KHGI-TV ABC 13 Kearney

Sign up to subscribe to custom state Daily Dispatch emails for free

click to subscribe