Firefighters made an early attack from the south side, as fire raged through the structure. (Photo courtesy of IVFD)

Family’s original homestead lost in Saturday fire

    Brothers Brian and Clay Majors got out with just their computers and a cell phone as a fire awoke them in the early hours Saturday morning.
    The fire at their family farmstead built in 1911 sits along Highway 61, two miles into Dundy County. Imperial Fire Chief Doug Mitchell said it was destroyed along with all of its contents.
    The Majors’ brothers and Clay’s eight-year-old son, Kolt, escaped from the home uninjured, thanks to some quick action.
    Brian Majors said he went to bed about 11 p.m. Friday, and was awakened by a bright orange light outside and a window in his room breaking about 1:40 a.m. His room was on the home’s west side, where the fire started.
    He said he first thought he had overslept for work.
    When he realized it was a fire, he got out of bed, grabbed his cell phone and a computer tower on which a number of family photos are stored.
    He headed through the parlor to the other bedrooms on the north side of the house.
    “Flames were reaching halfway across the ceiling,” he said.
    As he headed to his brother’s and nephew’s rooms to wake them, he shut doors behind him, something he remembered from his basic fire training in the U.S. Navy.
    He figures it was only about two minutes from the time he was awakened to the time all three of them were outdoors.
    “It happened very quickly. I think shutting the doors bought us some time,” he said.
    Brian, who’s lived in the home since late 2008, said everything is lost inside, from things he made and kept from high school to his Navy uniforms, “And everything in between.”
    Even his glasses were burned. He got to McCook Saturday for replacement contact lenses.
    However, he is thankful all of them are alive.
    While there were heat and smoke alarms in the home, Clay said it was his brother who woke him and his son as the fire grew.
    He said the alarms they did have in the home evidently were not in the right places.

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