Apartment fire fills skies with smoke near 108th and Blondo during rush hour

Smoke from an apartment fire at 1306 N. 106th Court billows over northwest Omaha on Thursday afternoon.

About 65 people were left homeless and firefighters were kept busy late Thursday afternoon when two fires broke out at separate apartment complexes in northwest Omaha.

Battalion Chief Scott Fitzpatrick said no serious injuries were reported. The first fire started when food was left unattended on a stove; the second resulted from improperly discarded smoking materials, he said.

The first fire was reported shortly before 4 p.m. at 2220 N. 92nd Ave. That fire started in a ground-floor apartment. Initial reports indicated that a number of people might be trapped, but it appeared that only one person may have needed to be rescued from an upper-floor apartment, Fitzpatrick said. About 15 people were displaced.

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About a half-hour later, another fire was reported in an apartment complex at 1306 N. 106th Court. That fire, which started shortly before 4:30 p.m., generated intense smoke that could be seen across northwest Omaha. At one point, the Omaha Fire Department had 20 pieces of equipment and 50 firefighters at the scene.

Fitzpatrick said one person jumped from a second-floor balcony but was not seriously hurt. Several pets were rescued, too.

About 50 people were displaced by the fire, he said.

Even though the two fires kept firefighters busy, Fitzpatrick said, it could have been worse.

“Luckily, the second was about a half-hour after the first,” he said.

Firefighters were able to bring the first fire largely under control before some had to be deployed to the second fire.

Nancy Gaarder helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow her on Twitter @gaarder. Phone: 402-444-1102.

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