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A pickup truck is assisted by a tow truck on Interstate 80 during blizzard conditions Saturday.

Westside swimmers who were stranded in Lincoln because of weather conditions after they finished competing at the state meet this weekend got a bonus scare.

A fire alarm in the middle of the night prompted an evacuation of the hotel where they were staying.

Officials from the Omaha high school decided to stay in Lincoln on Saturday after the completion of the state meet because of the blizzard that left Interstate 80 closed between Lincoln and Omaha. Brandi Paul, a spokeswoman for the Westside Community Schools, said the students were to come home Sunday.

About 3 a.m., guests at the Cornhusker Hotel were awakened by an alarm because of a fire in a fourth-floor room. The Westside students evacuated the hotel as instructed by Lincoln Fire and Rescue officials, Paul said.

Clothes left on a heater to dry ignited the fire, Battalion Chief Jeremy Gegg said Sunday. The hotel’s sprinkler system confined the fire to the room where it began, Gegg said.

Guests on the third and fourth floors, including the Westside swimmers and coaches, had to be moved because of water damage from the sprinklers, he said.

— Kevin Cole

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kevin.cole@owh.com, 402-444-1272

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