A discarded cigarette is blamed for a three-alarm fire that caused over two million dollars of damage to a 30-plex north Lincoln apartment building near the 4900 block of 32nd St. . Lincoln Fire and Rescue first responded to the fire at Black Sands Apartments around 4:45AM. Battalion Fire Chief Leo Benesch tells KLIN News that when they first arrived they thought it was primarily an exterior fire. He says they got the fire under control in about an hour and a half and fortunately no residents or fire fighters were injured in the blaze.
Fire Chief Micheal Despain says the combined synergy between LFR crews, police , apartment employees, the Air National Guard and Red Cross went a long way to ensure every resident was accounted for and that evacuations went smoothly.
Chief Despain remarked that if the building had a sprinkler system, the damage could have been confined to one or two units. However, he says because there’s no ordinance in Nebraska requiring sprinkler systems for most buildings, sprinkler instillation is driven more by insurance markets than anything else.