Mayor Chris Beutler today commended Lincoln firefighters for their expertise and professionalism in responding to the three-alarm fire that destroyed several businesses at 17th and "P" streets Monday.
"This major fire resulted in massive property damage but no loss of life and no injuries to the public or the firefighters," Beutler said. "The quick response prevented the fire from spreading even further. I am grateful for the unwavering commitment of our men and women at Lincoln Fire and Rescue to protect the residents of this community.
"The event is a reminder to all of us about how dangerous the job of a firefighter can be. The roof collapse could have seriously hurt or even killed our personnel. We were fortunate that the training and experience of the firefighters on scene allowed them to recognize the signs of an impending roof failure in time to get to safety."
Beutler also thanked voters for recognizing the importance of coordinated and timely response to emergencies by approving the public safety ballot issue April 7. Its passage will fund a new emergency radio system and a fire station relocation plan. That plan includes the construction of two new fire stations and the relocation of two others. One of the new stations will be a joint fire and police station in southeast Lincoln.
"The 20-point approval margin is a sign of appreciation for the job our police, fire and 911 professionals do every day to keep our community safe," Beutler said. "Our ability to bring more residents into the four-minute response range will save lives, prevent injuries and reduce property damage."
Public Safety Director Tom Casady said work is already under way to implement the improvements approved by voters, and the public will be kept up to date as the projects move forward.