Investigation Shows Electrical Problem Caused Downtown GI Fire


The city of Grand Island Fire Department in conjunction with the Nebraska State Fire Marshal’s Office recently completed an investigation for origin and cause for the fire originating at 612 W. Third St. The building was home to several businesses including Ron’s Transmission, Edward’s Audio and Video, J & J Thrift Store, and Shady Bend Builders.

Findings indicated the fire was not suspicious in nature, rather due to an electrical issue associated with an electrical cord failure.

Total damage estimates are not available at this time but the building is considered a total loss with the exception of the space occupied by Edward’s Audio and Video which suffered light smoke and water damage.

The Fire Department reminds citizens a fire can be devastating and encourages the community to keep the individuals who suffered a loss as a result of the fire in their thoughts and prayers.

Fire Chief Cory Schmidt said, “I am extremely proud of the Grand Island Fire Department. Due to the efforts of the dedicated men and women of the department, the fire was stopped with no loss of life or significant injuries.”

On behalf of the Fire Department, Chief Schmidt extends gratitude for the support the department received while mitigating this fire emergency. Several city departments were instrumental in safely seeing this emergency to its conclusion including the Police, Emergency Management, Utilities, and Public Works. In addition, the department is grateful for the outside assistance received from the Grand Island Rural Fire Department, Hastings Fire Department, St. Paul Fire Department, Hall County Sheriff, Red Cross, Salvation Army, and private insurance investigators. Furthermore, the community as a whole provided encouragement and support over the last several days which was also greatly appreciated.

Chief Schmidt said, “Events like this are an unfortunate reminder of how important fire prevention efforts are. Many fires are preventable with a strong fire prevention and inspection program. The Grand Island Fire Department is committed to fire prevention and hopes to expand its efforts with the addition of a second life safety inspector if approved by city council.”