Lincoln Fire and Rescue was busy most of the day on the 4th of July, responding to reports of small grass or tree or garbage container fires and four structure fires.
Even with all the warnings about firework safety, most of the calls were related to fireworks.
Two structure fires late Friday night put a heavy load on the department. A two alarm fire and a single alarm fire in another location struck the city within thirty minutes of each other.
Crews were called to the 3100 block of North Hill Road just after 10 p.m. Friday night to battle an apartment fire. A second alarm was called in to help fight the fire.
Lincoln Fire Inspector Tony Chapp said the fire started on the second floor storage closet when a rocket type firework ended up going into the open door and igniting the clothes and boxes inside. Chapp said he believes the items in the closet smoldered until they ignited and then leaped out and around the balcony and into the apartment above. Flames also extended into the lower level apartment.
According to Chapp, damages to the structure are estimated at $175,000 and another $60,000 to the contents.
The family living in the apartment that caught fire was not home at the time but a 69-year-old woman was in the apartment on the third floor.
She was alone when a neighbor from an adjacent building saw the flames went over and assisted her outside. The woman was evaluated by Paramedics and did not require transportation to the hospital.
Residents of all three apartments have been relocated with the assistance of The American Red Cross..
While several fire units were battling the apartment fire, around 10:30, several more crews were called to a reported house fire in the 2700 block of Nottingham Court
Calls to 911 reported seeing smoke coming from the eves inside the windows.
LFR says the fire started from the basement in a utility room.
No one was home at the time of the fire. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Damages will be determined when inspectors complete their investigation during daylight hours on Saturday.
As several of the firemen had finally returned to their different fire stations, another call came in for a garage fire near Capital Beach about midnight. Inspectors believe hot fireworks were not disposed of properly and caught fire.
The residents were able to get the fire out just as the first crews arrived. Most of the responding fire crews were sent back to the station before arriving.
Damages are considered minimal.
Just before 1:00 a.m. Saturday, Lincoln 911 received calls of a roof on fire near the 2100 block of Stone Creek Loop South. Multiple pieces of fire equipment clogged the narrow neighborhood street as they worked to fight the fire.
Acting Battalion Chief Jim Bopp said the residence was a duplex and the fire stayed mostly in the roof and attic areas on one side of the building. That half of the duplex was vacant at the time of the fire. Bopp called a second alarm to get more manpower and equipment to help fight the stubborn fire.
According to Captain Brian Giles, when they got close to the scene, they could see the flames coming from the top of the roof from several blocks away.
Bopp said fighting the fire was difficult as they attacked it from underneath, pulling down ceilings and insulation trying to get to the flames in the attic. The cedar shake roof also presented problems since the fire would appear out then smolder and restart and have to be put out again.
According to Bopp, fire inspectors believe the fire was started by fireworks based on evidence found at the scene. Another inspection Saturday will likely confirm that. At that time, they will determine the damages to the residence.