Fire Department issues official statement on Oasis fire
June 26, 2013, The following is the report issued to media by Lincoln Fire Investigators, Ashley Williams and Tim Aper.
“At 5:23pm on Friday June 21, the Lincoln Fire Department received reports from passer-byes and area business owners of light smoke coming from the roof of 501m Pulaski Street in Lincoln at the Oasis Senior Center and the adjoining structure.
Units were on scene from the Lincoln Fire Department and Lincoln Rural Fire Protection District within minutes of the call and began to search for the seat of the fire.
Interior crews found the attic space (or cockloft) of the Oasis heavily involved. Crews deployed multiple hose lines to the second floor and battled the blaze for an hour before withdrawinfg to begin a defensive exterior attack. The fire went into a third alarm with three aerial water streams in place and a fifth alarm water shuttle operation was established to help keep up with the demand.
None of the building’s occupants were harmed however three firefighters sustained injuries fighting the blaze.
It has been determined that the cause of the fire was due to lightning that struck an unused television tower located on top of the building. The National Weather Service office in Lincoln has confirmed a significant lightning strike in downtown Lincoln at approximately 5pm.
The building sustained significant fire damage on the roof and smoke and water damage throughout. Dollar loss estimates are currently being reviewed with the parties involved.
In total 15 fire departments responded including: Lincoln Fire Department, Lincoln Rural Fire, Mt. Pulaski, Atlanta, Latham, Middletown, Chestnut, Elkhart, Emden, New Holland, Hartsburg, Cornland, Beason, Williamsville and Sherman.
Five support agencies also responded: Logan County Paramedics, Lincoln Police, Logan County EMA, Logan County Sheriff’s Auxiliary and the American red Cross.
The Lincoln Fire Department would like to thank all the responding agencies and members of the community for their assistance with a special thank you to 8 year old Wyatt Jones.”
Editor’s note: Wyatt Jones was a youngster who continued to bring boxes of snacks over to the firefighters as he was concerned about their being hungry and needing energy while fighting the blaze.