A two-story house at 242 S. Nebraska Ave. in Minden was destroyed by fire Tuesday afternoon. Minden Fire Chief Tom Brown says they were called out around 2:30pm and encountered heavy smoke and fire on the main level when they breached the front door indicating a structure fire as opposed to one confined to a room and its contents. Brown said that led to an automatic page to their “quad city mutual aid”. It has the potential for 10 fire departments responding. There were five departments that assisted Tuesday including Minden, Axtell, Wilcox, Hildreth, Upland and Franklin. He said it’s great help when they respond and all the departments work together as “one big team.”
The fire was brought under control within an hour but firefighters stayed on scene for several hours to put out hot spots and ensure it wouldn’t flare-up again. The Nebraska State Fire Marshal determined the cause of the fire to be accidental and originated on the stove top. Damage to structure and contents was estimated around $120,000. The State Fire Marshal determined the cause to be accidental and started on the stove top.
The family discovered the fire when they came home. Although no one was injured, several pets were lost in the fire and the American Red Cross is assisting the family.
Brown said with everybody having jobs, it’s difficult sometimes to have enough manpower to respond to calls in the middle of the day. He said they did their best but, in the end, the fire had a head start and quickly “grabbed a hold of the structure.” Brown commended the assistance of Minden Police Department with traffic and pedestrian control at the scene.
Minden Fire Chief Tom Brown on challenges in fighting house fire: