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Lincoln apartment electrical fire causes $300,000 in damage, officials say
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Lincoln apartment electrical fire causes $300,000 in damage, officials say

From the What you missed this week in notable Southeast Nebraska crimes and court cases series
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Fire causes $300K in damage

A second-floor apartment fire in south-central Lincoln on Tuesday caused $300,000 in damage and displaced every resident in the six-unit building, according to Lincoln Fire and Rescue.

Crews responded to the building near 10th and Washington streets shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday, where they observed “heavy fire” emitting from a second-story bedroom window, Capt. Nancy Crist said.

Fire crews quickly extinguished the blaze, Crist said, though it had spread into the attic and living room areas of the apartment where it started.

Crist said city inspectors determined the cause of the fire to be electrical.

All building residents had been evacuated before crews arrived, Crist said. Neighboring apartment units were spared from the worst of the fire, though water and smoke damage affected multiple dwellings, Crist said.

Man dies day after crash

YORK — An 18-year-old Fairmont man died Wednesday from injuries he sustained in a Tuesday crash on U.S. 34, according to York County Sheriff Paul Vrbka.

Kain Verhage was driving a small pickup west on U.S. 34 at about 11 a.m. when he struck the back of a westbound semi stopped and preparing to turn south at Road O, Vrbka said. The accident happened just north of the Green Plains Energy ethanol plant.

Verhage was flown by medical helicopter to a Lincoln hospital and died Wednesday.

Vrbka said it was unclear why Verhage’s pickup rear-ended the semi, noting weather did not play a factor.

The semi driver was uninjured.

Motorcyclist in fatal crash identifiedThe Lincoln man who died Monday night after he struck a curb and was thrown from the motorcycle he was driving near First and Adams streets has been identified.

Kevin Ginger was 61 years old.

Lincoln police responded to the scene shortly after 11 p.m. Monday, providing medical assistance until Lincoln Fire and Rescue crews responded and transported Ginger to an area hospital, LPD Officer Erin Spilker said.

Ginger, who was riding his 2009 Harley-Davidson south on First Street when he hit a curb as he approached the roundabout near Adams Street, was pronounced dead at the hospital, according to police.

Spilker said Ginger’s family was notified of his death Tuesday morning.

Pedestrian dies underneath train

GRAND ISLAND — A pedestrian who was trying to get through a parked Union Pacific train died late Wednesday morning on the east side of Grand Island.

The adult male died at the scene. Police hadn’t yet tried to identify him, but estimated he was in his 40s.

It appears the man was trying to go underneath or between the cars while the freight train was stopped and preparing to back into the rail yard, said Capt. Dean Elliott of the Grand Island Police Department.

“We’re not sure at this point in time, but at some point in time he ended up underneath the train while the train was slowly moving,” Elliott said. “It appears that the injuries were definitely caused by the train impacting him underneath the train.”

Police were called to the scene near the intersection of Broadwell Avenue and Front Street at 11:48 a.m.

The man was moving from the south end of the crossing to the north side.

Officer pleads not guilty to charges

FREMONT — A Wahoo police officer arrested in Dodge County pled not guilty on Friday to charges of sexual assault of a child.

Sean M. Vilmont was arrested Sept. 24 on two counts of third-degree sexual assault of a child and one count of unlawful intrusion.

Vilmont, 51, of Fremont is accused of sexually assaulting a now 13-year-old girl and rewarding her with gifts between 2015 and 2021. He was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of internal and criminal investigations.

Vilmont was previously released on bail. His next hearing is scheduled for Nov. 15.

He faces a maximum of eight years in prison if convicted of all three felony charges.

Vilmont has been with the Wahoo Police Department for more than a decade. He also has worked for the Ashland Police Department.

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Lincoln police officers provided medical assistance until Lincoln Fire and Rescue crews responded and transported the man to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to LPD. 

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