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The Nebraska State Patrol shared this photo from McCook, where at least one home was damaged by the fire.

McCOOK, Neb. — A wildfire forced evacuation of part of McCook in southwest Nebraska, claiming at least one home.

Officials ordered the evacuation of the northwest corner of the city on Tuesday because fire was spreading rapidly as winds gusted over 50 mph.

Some people were treated at the local hospital for burns and smoke inhalation, but the severity of their injuries wasn't immediately clear.

The fire damaged at least one home in northwest McCook and was threatening several others Tuesday afternoon.

The area evacuated north of Q Street and west of Norris Avenue includes McCook Elementary School. The students were relocated to McCook High School and the local YMCA.

"I woke up this morning and smelled smoke and first I checked my house to make sure my house wasn't on fire," Shelby Rowe said in a telephone interview. "Then I looked out the window and the whole neighborhood was full of smoke."

Rowe is the manager at Pizza Hut, which donated 51 pizzas to the volunteer fire crews. The McCook restaurant has opened up space outside for people to bring horse trailers. They're also providing access to water for animals.

Rowe said they've had roughly 20 people stop by so far.

McCook Christian Church, McCook Evangelical Free Church and the city library have also opened their doors to provide resources for those who've been evacuated.

Fire departments from several other towns in the area are sending crews to help battle the grass fire.


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