Omaha World Herald

Multiple explosions and a fire in an underground concrete electrical vault rocked downtown Omaha and forced the evacuation of a nearby hotel, but no injuries were reported. Authorities say the incident happened Monday night when a power transformer that sits under the sidewalk next to the Doubletree Hotel caught fire. Acting Omaha Fire Battalion Chief Mickey McLaughlin says explosions from the transformer continued after firefighters arrived, producing a large amount of smoke and flames coming from the sidewalk grates over the vault. The hotel was not damaged by the nearby fire.


Strong winds, warmer conditions and low humidity are combining to create a fire danger across several states, including parts of Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri. The National Weather Service has issued red flag watches and warnings for most of all four states on Monday. A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are present. The weather service says south to southwest winds of 15 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 50 mph, are expected in areas covered by a red flag watch or warning. Outdoor burning is not recommended. 

Omaha World Herald

Residents of 12 units of an apartment complex in Omaha are out of their homes after a fire. The blaze broke out Saturday afternoon at the Fontenelle Hills Apartment complex. WOWT-TV reports that authorities believe improper disposal of smoking materials is to blame. The fire began in one of the units then spread into the attic and into other units, causing the roof to collapse. The building was constructed in the 1970s, before sprinklers were required. A few people were treating for smoke inhalation but no serious injuries were reported. The building was a total loss. 


Police say a third person has died from injuries received in an explosion that leveled a house in Omaha, Nebraska. Police said Thursday in a news release that 28-year-old Alexander Toledo died Wednesday at a burn unit in Kansas City, Missouri. Toledo had been found by neighbors sitting outside the destroyed home with severe burns following the Tuesday morning blast. Toledo's grandmother, 73-year-old Theresa Toledo, and another woman, 45-year-old Angela Miller, were killed in the explosion. Seventy-two-year-old Larry Rodriguez was critically injured.

Omaha World Herald

The owner of a Nebraska dry-cleaning business has pleaded no contest to charges that accused him of causing the explosion that destroyed his business. The Omaha World-Herald reports that 54-year-old Michael McKernan of Valley entered the plea Thursday to second-degree arson and burning to defraud an insurer. McKernan owned Wardrobe Spa. He was there on Oct. 7, 2018, when the building exploded. Deputy Sarpy County Attorney Ben Perlman said McKernan had intentionally drilled holes into gas lines that connected to a dryer and a furnace.

Paradise Lake Fires Ruled Suspicious

Dec 9, 2019

A series of fires in a flood-damaged Sarpy County community are ruled suspicious in nature.  The fires broke out yesterday in the Paradise Lake community.  Two abandoned trailer homes in the community burned yesterday.  The trailers in Paradise Lake were deemed uninhabitable following this past spring's floods.  

*UPDATE: Bellevue officials say the fires are believed to be the work of vandals, and that tearing down the flood-damaged homes could cost 1.5 million dollars.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Fire officials say an explosion that leveled an Omaha house and killed one person was an accident.

BELLEVUE, Neb. (AP) — A fire has all but destroyed an apartment building in the Omaha suburb of Bellevue.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a man has been hospitalized after being rescued from a garage fire in Council Bluffs.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Authorities say a three-alarm fire has heavily damaged an Omaha business.

FREMONT, Neb. (AP) — No injuries have been reported from an explosion on a natural gas pipeline in eastern Nebraska.

All students accounted for after fire at UNO dorm

Feb 27, 2014

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Firefighters responded to a two-alarm fire at an apartment dormitory on the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus Wednesday afternoon.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A memorial fund has been set up for the families of two people killed after an animal feed processing plant collapsed in Omaha.

Authorities identify second person killed in industrial accident

Jan 22, 2014

Authorities have identified the second person killed in a fire and building collapse at International Nutrition.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — At least four of the 10 workers sent to hospitals after an explosion and partial collapse at an Omaha manufacturing plant have already been released.

Two killed, ten injured in fire and building collapse in Omaha

Jan 20, 2014

Authorities say the investigation in to the cause of a fire and building collapse that killed at least two people could take weeks.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Omaha fire investigators say a mobile home blaze the killed two children was likely caused by space heaters.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Two young brothers have died in a mobile home fire in northwest Omaha that injured two adults.

Two die in northwest Omaha house fire

Dec 18, 2013

Two people are dead following a house fire Wednesday morning in northwest Omaha.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Fire officials are trying to determine the cause of a blaze at an old recycling plant in south Omaha.

American Red Cross officials share tips to prevent house fires

Dec 10, 2013

The American Red Cross has responded to 17 house fires in Nebraska and southwest Iowa since last Friday.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a Council Bluffs man set his house on fire while his mother and 12-year-old brother were inside.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have taken a man into custody on suspicion of starting a house fire in Council Bluffs.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A jury has found a man guilty of first-degree murder in connection with a house fire in Omaha that killed an elderly man and injured his wife.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Omaha Fire Department says it will wait before making a decision on the future of a captain accused of having marijuana, alcohol and a handgun during a traffic stop.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Firefighters have found the body of an 82-year-old Omaha woman inside a burning house.

Omaha City Council approves 2014 budget

Aug 28, 2013

The Omaha City Council has given unanimous approval to the 2014 budget.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Omaha's fire chief has agreed to retire under a deal with the mayor that ends a long dispute between the two officials.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A judge has dismissed the Omaha firefighter union's lawsuit against the city that sought to prevent cuts to the fire department budget.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — It's unclear what started a fire at a vacant Creighton University dorm that was quickly extinguished by firefighters.