Scottsbluff firefighters extinguished a blaze at a Scottsbluff home early Friday morning.

Scottsbluff firefighters responded to a report of a fire in the 700 block of East 8th Avenue at about 2:11 a.m., Scottsbluff Fire Chief Tom Schingle told the Star-Herald. Gering firefighters also responded, providing mutual aid.

When firefighters arrived, flames were witnessed coming from the roof. It took about 15 to 20 minutes for firefighters to control the fire and part of their work included cutting holes into the roof to allow smoke and heat out.

 As the fire spread through the attic, it burned up enough of the roof where firefighters could not safely walk on the roof.

he cause of the fire was accidental and resulted from damaged electrical wiring in the attic. Scottsbluff fire marshal Anthony Murphy said the combination of insulation and multiple space heaters running contributed to the fire. The high load caused the plastic to melt and eventually ignite.

“We’re happy he had working smoking alarms,” Murphy said. “It is also a great opportunity to remind the public if you’re going to use space heaters, plug them directly into the wall outlet with a lot of space around it.”

“Most surge protectors are made for TVs and electronics,” he added. “They are not intended for high draw appliances like space heaters, refrigerators and coffee makers.”

The structure was ruled a total loss valued at $15,000 and a $2,000 loss for the house contents, bringing the total loss to $17,000.

Once the flames were extinguished, firefighters spent a fair amount of time on scene searching in the attic’s compartments to ensure everything was extinguished.

The fire was contained to the structure of origin and no other nearby structures were damaged.

The Firefighters Ministry was dispatched. Carissa Smith, of Firefighters Ministry, said the organization has assisted the man who lived in the home with a hotel and clothing.

The Scottsbluff Police Department, Scottsbluff Fire Department, Gering Police Department and Gering Volunteer Fire Department responded to the structure fire. The Red Cross was also dispatched.

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

Lauren Brant is a reporter with the Star-Herald and the Gering Courier. Contact her at 308-632-9043 or by email at

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