Sunday, June 24, 2018
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Explosion rocks FFA greenhouse

Gothenburg Fire & Rescue respond during mock disaster drill.

The call was dispatched at 8:30 p.m. on a mild, pre-spring night last Wednesday.

Over the radio, Gothenburg’s fire and rescue crew learned of an explosion with fire at the FFA greenhouse next to Central Nebraska Seed & Chemical on east Highway 30.

FFA students working in the greenhouse were injured.


When fire fighters arrived, fumes from chemicals permeated the air. Debris on fire lighted the parking lot.


With breathing packs strapped to their backs, the rescue crew entered the greenhouse.

By the door, Kyle Demoret leaned up against a wall. An overturned chair rested on his legs and a plastic chemical sprayer lay beside him.

“It hurts real bad,” Demoret mumbled.“I need help.”

The rescuer asked if there were others.

Demoret said there were.

Their flashlights shining like beacons in the dark, the rescuers found the students—five inside who were burned and suffering from other injuries and another outside with a broken leg.

Tyler Sheets had fallen from a ladder when the explosion shook the greenhouse.

Inside, Tommy France was pinned to the cement floor by a table. He was having trouble breathing.

One by one, the fire fighters tended to the injured, placing them in ambulances waiting to transport the precious cargo to the hospital.

As red tail lights disappeared into the night, the rescuers were thankful for the experience.

However they breathed a collective sigh of relief that six students would return to school the next day for another day of life.

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