Beatrice City and Rural Firefighters Battle Early New Year’s Day House Fire

BEATRICE – A New Year’s Day early morning fire in frigid weather has destroyed a home, in west Beatrice.

Beatrice City and Rural Firefighters rushed to 633 West Court Street at around 1:30 a.m., to a fire in a house located along the south side of the highway.

:14                  “at that point”

Beatrice Fire Captain Craig Fisher says firefighters tried to open the ceiling from inside to get at the flames.

:11                  “through the roof”

Fisher says occupants of the home were inside when the fire broke out.  A man, woman and four children were able to escape without injury.   Occupants were outside the home when firefighters arrived.   At the time, the temperature was 14-below zero, with a wind chill of nearly 20-below, according to the National Weather Service.

Officials summoned the Red Cross to help provide a place for the family to stay.

Fisher says firefighters are suspecting an electrical problem as a possible cause of the fire, but a Nebraska Fire Marshal Investigator was being summoned to the scene to help pinpoint the cause.   Firefighters were still trying to douse flames in the upper portion of the home, three hours after being called to the scene.

:16                  “not work right”

A coating of ice surrounded the fire scene from the water being poured on the building.  Firefighters were switching out air packs and breathing gear, putting them inside the cab of fire truck to thaw them out.

:12                  “roof caved in”

A call for mutual aid went out for additional firefighting help, at seven a.m.  Initially, four Beatrice city department firefighters and seven members of the rural department, responded to the scene.  Police and Fire had Court Street, which is also U.S. Highway 136, blocked off around the fire scene Monday morning.