Plattsmouth Students Thank Firefighters

By: Katie Stukey Email
By: Katie Stukey Email
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Five weeks after a massive fire destroyed five Plattsmouth businesses, some of the town's youngest residents will show their appreciation to firefighters on Thursday.

The sign outside of Plattsmouth's volunteer fire hall expresses the firefighters’ gratitude for a flood of support since that January 3rd blaze on Main Street. Students and staff at Plattsmouth Community Middle School just wrapped up a two-week fundraiser to show their appreciation. Children could pay a small price to come to school in a costume and teachers could wear jeans if they contributed. Anything they could do to help show the fire crews their support. The money raised will be presented to firefighters Thursday afternoon.

“It might give them the courage to keep doing it and just know that people are supporting them and looking out for them,” said eighth-grader Katie Oatman.

“Accepting and thankful for what they do,” added eighth-grader Sierra Witherell.

"I was born and raised here,” said teacher Kelli Henry. “I have a huge tie to this community and I love this community and all the people in it and it's just something I felt very strongly towards."

Plattsmouth fire

Main Street, the lifeblood of downtown Plattsmouth, is still blocked off, though the city just got clearance from the state to reopen one lane. "We haven't figured out how exactly we're going to sign all of that, so we don't have confusion down there, but the big thing is to get the street open for the commerce on the buildings that are still open and doing business,” said Mayor Mike Bowman.

This road block is hurting other businesses. Some of them graciously helped fire crews as they fought those flames a month ago.

As for the displaced businesses, the chiropractor found a new building across town and the jewelry store is also up and running inside a temporary location. The health clinic is operating from a trailer. The Quart House Pub owner told WOWT 6 News the morning of the fire he did not plan to reopen.

Investigators haven’t had a chance to go through the rubble to try and determine what started the fire due to safety concerns. Mayor Bowman says the problem lies with the insurance companies. There are several insurance policies that come into play between the building's owners and all of the businesses that were housed inside. We're told their communication with the city has been pretty much non-existent.

Residents and surrounding businesses are eager to move forward. "You can kind of still smell that firey [sic], burnt smell and I was like, ugh,” said Henry. "Everyone's curious, how much is going to be able to be saved? Is it going to be able to be saved? Seeing history disappear like that is just something you don't want to see happen."

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