Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Mark Hebert

Volunteer Firefighters battle blaze in Malta


April 22, 2020

Nick Cebulski takes a pet carrier full of kittens he retrieved from the fire and to safety. Photo by Mark Hebert.

Shortly after 12:30 p.m. last Thursday in Malta, sirens filled Malta as Phillips County Volunteer Fire Fighters, Phillips County Sheriff's Deputies, and Phillips County Ambulance Service vehicles raced to the Marian Hills Golf Course south of town as a home's garage near the course caught fire.

Phillips County Volunteer Firefighters attack the fire that started at about 12:30 p.m. near the Marrian Hills Golf Course last Thursday. Photo by Mark Hebert.

There were three individuals in the house, and none were injured in the fire. The fire department worked for the better part of the afternoon fighting the blaze as 20 firefighters, using six fire fighting vehicles before getting the fire out. (Later than night, a small fire reignited which was also extinguished by the volunteers.) The fire is believed to have been started by some old fire embers that flared up in a garbage can in the garage which ignited nearby propane tanks.

As firefighters worked on the house's front, Malta's Nick Cebulski was around back where he hoisted himself onto an unfinished porch, walked through billowing smoke and opened the home's back sliding glass door. A small black cat darted from the door and away from the house and Cebulski disappeared into the home, coming back outside minutes later with a pet carrier containing a litter of kittens. One of the home's residents suffers from ALS and Cebulski was able to save all of the man's medical equipment from the fire, including a special, electric bed.

Phillips County Volunteer Fire Chief Mike Flatt told the PCN that the garage fire spread throughout the attic of the house (which is largely constructed of cinderblocks inside.) He said the family's insurance company will now determine how much of the home is a loss.


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