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Bennet building fire still burning, could cause more than $1 million in damage, sheriff says
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Bennet building fire still burning, could cause more than $1 million in damage, sheriff says

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A fire that broke out at a construction facility in Bennet early Thursday morning was still burning as of 9 a.m., according to the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office. 

When all is said and done, the fire burning at Vogt Construction, 11811 Roca Road, could cause more than $1 million in damage to the building's contents, Chief Deputy Ben Houchin said.

Sheriff's deputies and crews with Bennet Fire and Rescue responded to the blaze shortly after midnight on Thursday, where they found the 100-by-200-foot building was fully engulfed in flames, Houchin said. 

No one was in the building when the fire began, he said. The two-story building was home to pickup trucks, construction vehicles and excavating equipment, all of which are expected to be a total loss. 

Because of the extreme temperatures — about 6 degrees in Lancaster County when authorities responded to the fire, and plummeting since then — Bennet is opting to let the building succumb to a controlled burn, Houchin said. 

Firefighters from Hickman, Southeast Fire and Rescue, Douglas and Palmyra responded to the fire alongside crews from Bennet. 

Houchin said the Palmyra School District provided a bus to responders to use as a warming center while they fought the fire in temperatures that dipped below zero overnight. 

"In the middle of the night, coming out and doing that — that just says what people in Nebraska are like, that's for sure," Houchin said. 

The State Fire Marshal will investigate the fire when it is extinguished. 

Reach the writer at 402-473-7223 or awegley@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @andrewwegley

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