PIERCE, Neb. (AP) — Two school-aged children are among those killed after fire broke out early Saturday at a home in rural northern Nebraska.
The Norfolk Daily News reported that firefighters were called to a home in the small town of Pierce at 5:46 a.m. The newspaper, citing an emergency responder who spoke on condition of anonymity, reported “multiple deaths.”
No one was answering phones at the Pierce Fire Department office on Saturday. A woman answer the phone at the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office declined comment except to say more information would be released later.
But Pierce Public Schools posted on its Facebook page that it was opening the high school Saturday to students seeking support due after “the loss of Pierce High and Pierce Elementary students.”
Fire crews were still on the scene Saturday afternoon.
State Sen. Mike Flood of Norfolk said in a statement called the fire an “unspeakable tragedy.”
“Today’s news is heartbreaking and hard to understand, but I know the community spirit of Pierce is resilient, may it comfort this family and our region,” Flood said.
Pierce, with a population of about 1,700, is 130 miles (209 kilometers) northwest of Omaha.