Fifteen poults (baby turkeys) and a teenage boy are safe after Columbus firefighters extinguished a structure fire on Wednesday afternoon.
The Columbus Fire Department was dispatched to the 9600 block of 11th Avenue a little before 4:20 p.m. Aug. 2, 2023, for smoke in a structure. Columbus Assistant Fire Chief Nate Jones said once apparatus went en route, dispatch advised an occupant could see visible flames so the alarm was upgraded to a full task force for a structure fire.
Upon arrival crews found flames exiting two windows of a single-family residential structure. Crews performed an initial knockdown from the front yard and then progressed inside to finish the extinguishment and begin an overhaul of the structure. The 15 poults were removed.
“We would like to thank all of the responders for their quick and decisive action on this incident given the weather conditions present,” Jones said, adding his thanks to Columbus Rural Fire Protection District, Platte County Sheriff’s Office and the Nebraska State Fire Marshal’s office for assistance with the investigation. He also gave thanks to Cornhusker Public Power.
Jones said the fire was determined to be an electrical issue, though noted the official Fire Marshal’s report is not in yet as of Aug. 3. The assistant chief also praised the teenager for being on top of things in a stressful situation.
“The young man in this event acted perfectly, keeping himself and the family pets out of harm’s way,” Jones said. "We want to encourage all homeowners to talk with their kids about exit plans should this event happen in their home.”
(ABOUT THE PHOTO: Columbus Fire Department officials on scene Wednesday afternoon at a structure fire on the 9600 block of 11th Avenue.)