Wind, dust likely set off courthouse alarm
IVFD also called to Dundy Co. grass fire
By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Two calls within an hour and a half of each other Tuesday sent the Imperial Volunteer Fire Department (IVFD) to the courthouse and later to mutual aid assistance in Dundy County.
The first alarm came at 10:20 a.m., when a smoke sensor set off the fire alarm at the courthouse three blocks north of the fire hall.
Fire Chief Nick Schultz said the alarm indicated smoke near the elevator, but upon inspection, no smoke or heat was found on the scene.
Schultz said they suspect the high wind and dust that morning set off the sensor.
Also responding to the scene were two Imperial EMS ambulances.
At 12 noon, the firefighters were called for mutual aid by the Dundy County Fire Department, who was concerned that a grass fire about four miles southwest of Benkelman may get out of control.
The IVFD sent the department’s quick attack unit and two rural tankers to the scene, and returned to Imperial about four hours later, Schultz said.
The fire apparently started when an earlier burn rekindled from Tuesday’s high winds. Some of the fire burned into a stand of trees, as well. Schultz said the earlier burn had been authorized with an official burn permit.
A report on the number of Dundy County acres burned was unavailable Wednesday.