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Building near Bennet burns, with more than $1 million in damage possible, sheriff says
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Building near Bennet burns, with more than $1 million in damage possible, sheriff says

From the What you missed this week in notable Southeast Nebraska crimes and court cases series
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Fire aftermath

A fire destroyed a building housing equipment for Vogt Construction southwest of Bennet on Thursday morning.

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

The fire 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 Thursday, where they found the 100-foot-by-200-foot building fully engulfed in flames, Houchin said. 

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

Because of the extreme temperatures — about 6 degrees when authorities responded to the fire — crews opted to let the building burn, Houchin said. 

Crews from Hickman, Southeast Fire and Rescue, Douglas and Palmyra also responded.

Houchin said the Palmyra School District provided a bus to responders to use as a warming center while they fought the blaze. 

"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 blaze.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7223 or

On Twitter @andrewwegley


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A Kansas City, Missouri, native, Andrew Wegley joined the Journal Star as breaking news reporter after graduating from Northwest Missouri State University in May 2021.

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