The Lincoln Public Schools District Office building is a total loss after fire tore through the structure overnight.
An LPS employee working late Monday night smelled smoke and called 911 around 11pm, but Interim Assistant Fire Chief Pat Borer said the layout of the interior was their first obstacle.
Borer says the building was very difficult to access. At one point the fire had grown immensely, and forced firefighters outside the building
The other obstacle was thunderstorms that chased firefighters off the roof for several critical minutes as the blaze completely ate through the west side of the building.
With plenty of paper to fuel it and few if any interior sprinklers to defend it, the fire quickly got out of control.
School Board Don Mayhew says top priority will be assigned to finding a new home for the hundreds of people who work at the district offices.
Mayhew says one thing they will be talking about is how they will deal with replace the building; both in short-term to get back to doing the business of the district and long-term to get folks back to work.
Two firefighters were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Damage estimates will be in the several millions of dollars. A cause is not yet known.