How Gibbon Moves Forward After Losing Maintenance Building and More in Fire

By: Kim Cung - Email
By: Kim Cung - Email

GIBBON, Neb. -- Gibbon lost its city maintenance building, at least five utility pickup trucks and more in a blaze Tuesday night. But local businesses are stepping up to help Gibbon get by.

Matt Smallcomb, the Gibbon Assistant Fire Chief and operator of the waste water and water plant was heading home from work Tuesday night when he realized he forgot to turn the sprinklers off. That's when he saw smoke coming out of the city maintenance building and his fire training kicked in.

"We called mutual aid from Kearney and Shelton, knowing the extent of the building and what was in it," said Smallcomb.

Smallcomb said knowing what was in the city building made battling the fire harder.

"It was difficult. The building was full of vehicles so that made it...had its own challenge in it, trying to work through the building to get to where the fire had started," said Smallcomb.

Gibbon ended up losing the building, at least five pickups, a street sweeper, a road grader, loader and a dump trunk. But things aren't too bad for the city. Local businesses have stepped up and loaned Gibbon equipment.

"Right now it's a utility-box pickup that the utilities department will use. And they'll have that until they decide on you know, after the insurance and all that stuff," said Albert Krueger, the Plant Supervisor at the Nebraska Central Telephone Company.

Chris Rector, City Administrator said he's glad the community is pulling together. "It's a great feeling. You know, anytime anybody has a problem we all band together to help each other out."

Smallcomb also said even though the city lost a lot, everything will be business as usual.


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