Spontaneous Combustion Blamed for Tuesday’s Blaze

SIDNEY - Spontaneous combustion is blamed for a fire Tuesday morning to Ideal Linen and Uniform at 1545 Hickory Street in Sidney. The fire, which started and was contained in the Northwest corner of the building, caused significant damage to the building.

The Sidney Volunteer Fire Chief department received the call at 11:32 a.m. and arrived at the scene with 17 firefighters and 4 trucks. Fire Chief LaVerne Bown tells News Channel Nebraska that they initially attempted to attack the fire through a walk-in door on the South side of the building, but the heat and smoke inside was too intense, so they withdrew for a new strategy.

The decision was made to cut a hole in the south-facing overhead door close to where the fire originated allowing firefighters to apply water directly to the flames. Once the flames were knocked down, another hole was cut on the North side of the structure to allow smoke and gasses to escape the building.

Firefighters remained on the scene making sure that the blaze did not reignite until approximately 3:00 p.m.

It is the second time that Ideal Linen's building at that location has burned. The cause of the previous fire was also spontaneous combustion.

According to the company's website, Ideal was founded in Scottsbluff in 1907 as a “Soft Water Laundry.” In 1958, dry cleaning was added and then in 1972, after a major fire destroyed much of the main plant, Ideal branched into a full-blown supply house. Ideal Linen primarily serves customers in all of Nebraska and parts of Wyoming, Colorado, and Kansas.