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Investigation continues into fire that destroyed thousands of dollars of farm equipment in Nebraska
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Investigation continues into fire that destroyed thousands of dollars of farm equipment in Nebraska

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More than two months after a fire destroyed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of harvesting equipment, the Nebraska State Fire Marshal's office says the cause of the blaze still is unknown.

Chief Investigator Adam Matzner said this week no additional information is available. 

"The case remains under investigation, no changes or updates since the October 19 news release," he said in an email.

'I feel like the luckiest man alive' — Henderson farmer gets help with harvest after equipment burned

The Oct. 15 fire destroyed a combine, two semis and a tractor attached to a grain cart. Most of the equipment was filled with corn. Henderson farmer Jonathan Rempel estimated he lost about 3,500 bushels of corn, in addition to the equipment, which had been in a remote field.

Neighbors and strangers rally to help Nebraska farmer whose harvesting equipment burned

The combine had two Trump flags on it, causing some to speculate the fire was politically motivated.

Later that month, Gov. Pete Ricketts mentioned the investigation into the fire when asked at a news conference about vandalism being done to Trump flags and other political signs.

Rempel said he was helping his pregnant wife, Abbie, get their two children ready for school when he got the call from the Sutton volunteer fire department that his farm equipment was in flames.

Later that month, more than 80 farmers and their families helped him complete his harvest, and an online fundraiser raised more than $142,000 in donations. 

Early morning fire southwest of Lincoln destroys outbuilding, 4 vintage vehicles

Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or

On Twitter @LJSpilger


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Public safety reporter

Lori Pilger is a Norfolk native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been a public safety reporter for the Journal Star since 2005.

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