May 18, 2024

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3 businesses displaced after fire in Pierce, Nebraska

2 min read

PIERCE, Neb. (KCAU) — A structure fire on Monday night in Pierce, Nebraska left three businesses and one apartment tenant displaced. Now, the community is going to make sure those hometown businesses aren’t lost.

At about 11:40 p.m., the Pierce Volunteer Fire Department responded to a structure fire on the corner of Lucas and Nebraska Street.

“Upon our arrival,” Chief Steve Dolesh said, “we found the southern end of the structure, an attached garage, that was fully engulfed.”

Three businesses called that building home: Expressions Floral and Gifts; Chilvers Abstract and Title Co.; and Untangled Salon, along with a person living in an apartment above who made it out safely.

Not long after arriving on scene, Pierce called surrounding fire departments in Plainview, Osmond, Hadar, Randolph, Battle Creek and Norfolk to assist with the fire.

“We tried aggressively to get inside the structure to attack the fire inside and keep it from spreading,” Chief Dolesh said. “The building’s approximately a half-block long, so it’s a rather large building, so we tried to get into the center section of the building and cut it off at that location. Each time we made that attempt, we were met with high heat and situations that weren’t safe for us to be in. We just decided the conditions were just too much.”

The heat was only one of many problems firefighters faced.

“Steel roofs are nice, but when there’s fire involved in those buildings, it’s incredibly hard to get access through the roof to them, and they don’t self ventilate,” Dolesh said. “They don’t burn through the roof and give us an access point to get into, so it makes it difficult for fire fighting.”

At around 4 a.m. Tuesday morning, fire officials finished putting out the structure fire. While no one was injured, the town of Pierce lost an important piece of the town’s history. However, officials said the residents will endure whatever comes their way.

“It is an icon,” Dolesh said. “It was a furniture store when I was a kid, used to have a toy section in there that’d sell model airplanes, and model cars, and trucks, and I’d go in there, buy them when I had money to buy them.”

“Those businesses are still here in heart, we haven’t lost them,” Pierce Mayor Tom Meyer said. “I think that we can try and get people in here, try and get them office space and stuff to continue doing what they’re doing. Hopefully this is a little bump in the road for them.”

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. The building is also now red tagged.

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