Shortly after 5am on Saturday, January 9th 2021, the Scottsbluff and Gering Fire Departments were alerted to a structure fire in the 1600 block of 15th Avenue in Scottsbluff.
Scottsbluff Police Officers arrived on scene and evacuated two residents from the home. Fire was visible through the roof when fire crews arrived. The fire was in the attic, in an area difficult to extinguish.
Crews extinguished the fire and were on scene for over three hours, including the investigation. The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental, caused by overloaded electrical circuits in the older home through the excessive use of space heaters.
Assistance was provided by: The Scotts Bluff County Communications Center, Scottsbluff Police Department, Gering Fire Department, Valley Ambulance, Black Hills Energy, Nebraska Public Power District, and Firefighter Ministries responded to assist the displaced residents.
Damage is estimated at over $20,000. The fire department would like to remind the public to ensure you have working smoke alarms, and avoid the use of space heaters whenever possible.
If the use of them is necessary, space heaters should always: be plugged directly into an outlet without the use of extension cords or power strips, and have at least 3 feet of clear space around them. Older homes are especially susceptible to circuit overloads and should not have more than one space heater in use on the same circuit.
Anyone with questions may contact the Fire Prevention Office at 308-630-6227.