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The City of McCook Fire Department Responded to a Reported Structure Fire

McCook Fire Department

The City of McCook Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire Saturday evening, March 2nd in McCook. Numerous 911 calls advised the fire was located on Norris Avenue, however, first responding fire personnel reported a garage on fire between Norris and West 1st on I Street. The first arriving fire department crews reported moderate smoke and fire coming from the front of a 1 1⁄2 story garage with fire showing around the garage door windows. The homeowners, Ron and Missy Nelson, were not home at the time of the fire.

First arriving fire crews entered the garage and reported heavy smoke on the interior main floor level with no visible fire. As they made their way to the second level, the smoke and heat became more intense, however, no visible fire was found. Firefighters were able to open windows to allow the heat to escape while performing ventilation to help clear out the smoke. Once the smoke and heat cleared, firefighters were able to locate several hot spots where the fire had burned. There was significant heat and smoke damage to both levels of the garage. 
A State Fire Marshal Investigator was requested due to the significance of the fire damage to the structure and contents. The investigation determined that the fire started near a wall on the main level of the garage and quickly spread upstairs to the second level. The fire, more than likely, burned unnoticed for an extended period of time and was only noticed when the vinyl siding around the garage door windows began to burn. As the fire spread, it consumed all of the oxygen in the garage and nearly self-extinguished. The fire was accidental in nature.
Initial damage estimates were $100,000 to the structure and another $100,000 to the contents. Fire crews were on the scene within minutes of the call and remained on the scene for approximately 3 1⁄2 hours before clearing the scene. Assistance was requested from Red Willow Western Rural Fire Department who provided manpower.
One ladder truck, one pumper, one ambulance, and one command vehicle along with 12 members from the City of McCook Fire Department and several members of the Red Willow Western Rural Fire Department responded to the call.