McCook Fire Chief Marc Harpham says sparks from a damaged power line ignited dry grass, causing the fire, which was fed by winds gusting up to 50 miles per hour.
Harpham says firefighters from throughout the region joined in the fight and kept the fire from doing more damage.
“What happened is, after we pretty much had things knocked down, the only part of that fire that actually made it into McCook was some embers that landed over by our senior center,” Harpham tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KBRL. “It ignited some grass. Everything thing else we were able to keep outside of the city.”
The person injured in the fire has not been identified. He is believed to be a transient who lived in a shelter in a canyon. The extent of his injuries is not known at this time.
The house destroyed was an expensive one, but the price tag of the damage done could reach two million dollars due to the collectables kept in the house which were destroyed.
As a precaution, officials issued an evacuation order of the northern portion of McCook, which included a mobile home park and a retirement community. School officials moved students at McCook Elementary School McCook High School and the YMCA.