The cause of a fire that destroyed an Omaha home Tuesday remains under investigation. Meanwhile, the four residents who fled the burning house are looking for a place to live.
An insurance investigator Wednesday dug through the mess where clothing and wood were left charred, trying to find out what caused this house near 24th and C streets to go up in flames around 3:15 p.m. Tuesday. Firefighters said there was a base for a smoke detector, but no detector was in the home.
Neighbor Jamie Scott said the men who lived there were having a yard sale and cookout. A few hours later, the front porch was on fire. “Flames were going everywhere, windows started shattering.”
She smelled smoke, heard screaming and ran outside bringing her two children with her. The men got out safely, but most of their belongings were destroyed. The flames were so intense the siding on an adjacent home melted.
“They just lost everything, their house, clothes, everything,” said Scott. “We get to go home and lay down at night, they don't have that."
Matt Smock owns the home and had been renting it out to the men for years. He has insurance, but the men did not. “I've gotten to know them pretty well. A good guy, hard worker and I just hate to see him displaced and anything bad happen.”
The Red Cross is helping the men for now. Smock is waiting to hear if it will be possible to rebuild, but he thinks the house may be a total loss.