Early morning fire causes extensive damage

January 12, 2019

TERRYTOWN — An early morning fire on Thursday caused extensive damage but no injuries at a residence in Terrytown.

Paul Reisig, public information officer with the Scottsbluff Rural Fire Department, said his crew was called about 12:30 a.m. to 120 Woodley Park Rd. in Terrytown.

“Smoke was showing when we responded with three units and eight firefighters,” Reisig said. “With mutual aid, Scottsbluff City also responded with two units and about six firefighters.”

Scottsbluff City was the first to arrive and began controlling the blaze. Scottsbluff Rural handled cleanup operations.

“We called the state fire marshal in Ogallala to investigate and he arrived at about 4 a.m.,” Reisig said. “He found it was an electrical problem that had gotten up into the roof and the ceiling.”

He added that Scottsbluff Rural was on scene until about 5:30 a.m., as a minor fire rekindled in the house and needed to be suppressed.

Linda Gonzales, her daughter and two grandchildren were able to get out of the house. Several pets were also rescued without injury.

The estimated $25,000 in damage was primarily in the roof, and the structure is still standing. There was also water and smoke damage to the contents.

“Mrs. Gonzales told us she woke up about midnight and noticed the heaters weren’t running because it was getting cold,” Reisig said. “She left the door to her bedroom open and a short time later she started smelling smoke and got her family out.”

There were no other electrical heaters in use at the time and it was determined the fire was apparently caused by a short in the electrical system.

When Scottsbluff Rural got the call, Reisig also called Carissa Smith with Firefighter Ministry to provide assistance for the Gonzales family.

“We’ve put the family up in a local motel, probably for a week as our standard,” Smith said. “That will give them time to figure out what they want to do.”

Firefighter Ministry also provided vouchers for food and clothing. The family was able to salvage some of their clothing as most of the damage to the home’s contents came from smoke.

Smith said the family will also talk with their landlord and if they need help with rent or finding a new place to live, her group will help with that.

“Unfortunately, there have been a lot of house fires around the area recently,” Smith said.

Update hourly