BEATRICE – Firefighters got some early help from a young resident of Wymore, as a house fire was breaking out Monday night, in the four-hundred block of North 11th. Jacob Ward was in a vehicle with his family members on the way home, when they noticed flames coming from a lower-level window.
"We were just coming home from football practice, and Maya saw a fire in the window. So, we all got out of the car and then I ran and banged on the door, but it was locked. So, I was like, hey find a hose. So, I found a hose and I just sprayed the fire out through the window."
No one was at home when the fire began. Ward says firefighters were on scene shortly afterward. Wymore Fire Chief Mark Meints said smoke was coming out of the south side of the basement window with some flames visible.
"Smoke and flames had already made it up to the second story, so we had smoke coming out of the basement with flames, smoke coming out of the first story windows and second story windows. Once we went into the first story, we realized the fire had started in the basement. The owner arrived at that time and he instructed us how to make access to the basement through the garage. We made entry and with a charged line was able to get the fire out in the basement."
Meints said the flames made it to the second-floor walls of the structure, which has a third-floor attic. Wymore Fire and EMS and Blue Springs Firefighters responded to the scene, and an aerial ladder truck was sent from the Beatrice Fire and Rescue Department on standby, in case flames reached the upper part of the house.
"A lot of smoke damage....the second story actually got hot enough to melt anything that was plastic, so there was a lot of heat in there. We do have one dog that was a fatality."
A Nebraska Fire Marshal investigator was summoned to help look for the cause of the blaze. Meints said the fire occurred while the Wymore Department had one of its vehicles out of town, being repaired.
"We have a loaner fire truck...a fire engine on loan from a company from Omaha that just took it in as a trade. I'm fortunate that I have a good fire team that was able to get the truck, get the hose drawn and operate it as if it was our own. Our other truck is coming back from Minnesota and was going to have some repairs done to it tomorrow (Tuesday). I'm very proud of our team and the mutual aid that was provided by other departments."
About two-dozen firefighters fought the blaze in 90-degree, humid weather early Labor Day evening, taking hydration breaks after getting the flames under control. No injuries were reported among fire personnel.