Four departments battle early Wednesday fire, south of Beatrice

BEATRICE - Firefighters and equipment from four departments battled a house fire early Wednesday morning, south of Beatrice.
A family who lives at the home along Lakeview Lane, southwest of the Beatrice Country Club escaped the fire that reportedly started in a garage area.

"The fire was starting in the garage, it was contained mostly to the south side at that time. We did an aggressive exterior attack as we could. Once the fire breached the fire wall and got into the attic of the house, it spread pretty quick."

Beatrice Rural Fire Chief Matt Langley says occupants of the home were not injured.  "It was radioed to us that everybody was out...the family escaped. It sounds like there might be a dog or pet fatality of some nature, but everybody did get out with no problems."

Beatrice Rural Fire, Wymore, Blue Springs and Pickrell Fire Departments have been on the scene this morning, and Langley said officials were expected to remain on scene for some time putting out hotspots.

"A tanker from Pickrell...Blue Springs has a pumper and tanker....we also drafted from a pond down here with their pumper to get additional water up here if we needed it ...because we just can't get enough water here fast enough, from town."

The fire call sending units to the scene came in at 2:07 a.m. The home and three-stall garage that was destroyed is in a rural residential area, south of Lilac Road along a drive that serves several residences.

"We had kind of a battle on the back side. It's a complete wood structure on the back side, there's a lot of overhead, so we're having a hard time getting close to get the big flames knocked out. It's going to take a while to get this out completely."

About 30 firefighters from the four departments were battling the fire. A Nebraska Fire Marshal investigator was summoned to the scene to help determine the cause of the blaze.