The victim of Friday’s house fire has been identified as Robert Nelson, 64, of Norfolk.

An autopsy was conducted Saturday and police are still waiting on the formal reports from a pathologist, said Capt. Michael Bauer of the Norfolk Police Division in a press release.

However, the fire appears to have been accidental and no foul play is suspected, Bauer said.

The fire caused an estimated total damage of $36,000 to the building’s structure and contents, Bauer said.


Posted Jan. 25 at 10:19 a.m.

A man's body was found inside a home at 512 Blaine St. in Norfolk after a fire at the residence Friday.

At 9:55 a.m., a postal worker was walking by the house and saw smoke, police Capt. Chad Reiman said. The postal worker called 911, and firefighters encountered a fire and heavy smoke upon arriving at the scene. Firefighters had to cut through the roof and an exterior wall to put out the fire.

Norfolk Fire Chief Scott Cordes said the fire was contained by about mid-morning Friday.

Streets were blocked off from Park Avenue to Pasewalk Avenue, and citizens were asked to avoid the area.

Craig Reeson, a Norfolk fire inspector, said it took more than 30 firefighters and five rigs about 10 minutes to control the fire. During the initial search, a victim was found deceased inside the house, he said.

Overhaul of the structure occurred for another hour.

The cause of the fire and cause of death are still under investigation by the Norfolk Police Division and Norfolk Fire Division, Reeson said.

The property is estimated to be worth about $48,000, and it sustained about a $24,000 loss, Reeson said.

The Norfolk Fire Division was assisted by the Norfolk Police Division, Nebraska Public Power District, Black Hills Energy, City of Norfolk Water Department and Norfolk Ambulance.

No firefighters were injured. Firefighters remind citizens to check their smoke alarms and replace batteries if necessary.

It is believed to be the first deadly fire in Norfolk since a 2015 apartment fire on Syracuse Avenue in which a man later died of smoke inhalation. A 2010 fire killed two children on East Kaneb Road, and in 2006, a mother and four children were killed in a mobile home fire on South 13th Place.


Original story posted Jan. 24 at 10:49 a.m.

Firefighters discover body inside home

A man's body was found inside a home on Blaine Street in Norfolk after a fire at the residence Friday morning, according to police.

At 9:55 a.m., a postal worker was walking by the house and saw smoke, police Capt. Chad Reiman said. The postal worker called 911, and firefighters encountered a fire and heavy smoke upon arriving at the scene. Firefighters had to cut through the roof and an exterior wall to put out the fire.

Authorities were working to identify next of kin late Friday morning.

Norfolk Fire Chief Scott Cordes said the fire was contained about mid-morning.

Streets were blocked off from Park Avenue to Pasewalk Avenue, and citizens were asked to avoid the area.

It was unknown how the fire started.

Information will be updated as it is made available. 

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