Newburgh Fire Dept. teaches preschoolers fire safety



(WFIE)(It’s fire prevention week and the Newburgh Fire Department is making sure kids know what do in an emergency.

Monday morning, firefighters taught preschoolers from St. John the Baptist Catholic School to get low on the ground when there’s a fire at home or at school. Most importantly, they taught the children to not be scared of firefighters.

Second Assistant Chief Nick Donnan said the younger you learn fire safety, the better.

“As you get older, adults will get lax in their ways but whenever kids come home from school at the end of the day saying ‘Hey, this is what I learned. Mom, Dad, can we do a fire drill? Or do our smoke detectors work? Knowing that isn’t just for the young age but all the way up to the parents,” said Donnan.

Donnan said they’ll visiting more than a dozen classes to talk about fire safety, and of course, all the kids get to check out the fire trucks. 

Copyright 2016 WFIE. All rights reserved.

3-Alarm Blaze Breaks Out

NEWBURGH, IN 1-27-2016

Several fire crews responded to the scene of a major fire at the Beaver Creek Apartments in Newburgh Wednesday.

Dispatch called for emergency crews around 9:40 p.m. Crews from both Warrick and Vanderburgh County were on scene.

Fire officials say they got to a 3-alarm level and firefighters made the decision to pull out and take a defensive stance.

Fire officials say a total of 16 units were affected, with various degrees of damage.

We’re told everyone made it out okay. Officials say the time of night helped, because some people were still awake.

A cause of the fire has not been released.

Newburgh Fire Dept. striving to educate youth about fire safety

 October 11,2015

NEWBURGH, IN (WFIE) – The Newburgh Fire Department is taking greater lengths to educate young people about fire safety.

Their annual fire prevention week ended Sunday with an open house with a meet and greet with the entire fire team and a search and rescue demonstration.

Their goal was to instill a sense of trust into the kids and to tell them that firefighters are their friends.

“They get to meet all the men and women here at Newburgh fire. We’re also  started a fire prevention poster contest, so the first graders all made fire prevention posters. Inside we have them hanging from the wall. Newburgh Elementary and St. Johns were the two schools who participated, The community is voteing on one from each school and we’re going to award the winner with a trophy,” said Nick Donnan, Second Assistant Chief.

The kids also got to test out the fire hose and take a tour of the fire trucks.

Copyright 2015 WFIE. All rights reserved. 

Warrick County firefighters save horse that slipped into icy pond

Newburgh family loses home in Monday morning fire 
WARRICK CO., IN (WFIE) -A Newburgh family loses their home in a fire Monday morning.We’re told it first broke out around 5:30 on Westchester Drive, and then rekindled a couple hours after it was put out.Officials say a mom left for work, and her kids woke up to smell smoke. They unplugged all the space heaters, went outside and called 911.Firefighters responded and then allowed the kids to go back inside to get their belongings. About 20 minutes later, the fire rekindled, and we are told the home is a total loss.Firefighters say it took them longer to get there because of the icy conditions.The Newburgh and Ohio Township fire departments responded to the scene. 14NEWS is continuing to follow these developments, and we will have the latest on air, online at and on mobile with the 14NEWS mobile app. Copyright 2014 WFIE. All rights reserved.

Health Care Heroes: Larry Nellis

As a volunteer firefighter, Larry Nellis would constantly deliver patients to the emergency room. His frequent trips made him interested in seeing the other side of patient care.

“That’s how I got into nursing and got into emergency medicine,” Nellis said.

Nellis is still a volunteer firefighter for the Newburgh Fire Department, but he followed his intrigue and also works as a clinical supervisor in St. Mary Medical Center’s emergency department.

Nellis, of Newburgh, is in charge of overseeing the day-to-day happenings of the emergency department. That means he does a little bit of everything — handling customer service issues, seeing patients and dealing with any problems that may arise.

“It’s exciting and never boring. You see everything. You don’t just deal with one type of patient. You deal with several types of patients,” said Nellis who is a registered nurse and EMT.

Nellis admits the job can get stressful. The department could be steady for 10 minutes, and then he and his co-workers could quickly be handling seven traumas.

For Nellis, patient care is his favorite part of the job. His desire to help people is what led him to become a volunteer firefighter almost 20 years ago and work in the emergency department now for 12 years. Nellis said people can come into the emergency department anxious, but he’s found ways to develop good rapports with patients and de-escalate situations.

“I like the intensity of the ER and helping people,” Nellis said. “It’s just really fast-paced. You see a little bit of everything from minor complaints all the way to critical people. You never know what the next thing is you’re going to get.”

Nellis’ work at St. Mary’s placed him in the emergency department the night of the 2005 tornado that tore through the Evansville area, killing 25 people. He also is an active member of the hospital’s disaster committee, said Anna Leslie, Nellis’ manager who nominated him as a Health Care Hero.

“Whatever the call is, Larry is there to help with it,” Leslie said.

Nellis’ job is difficult, Leslie said, but he supports the crew that reports directly to him.

“He takes it seriously. He does his best. … He makes it a lot easier for those who work for him,” Leslie said.

Nellis works 12-hour shifts at the emergency department Fridays through Sundays and is on-call 24/7 for the fire department. Leslie said sometimes Nellis will casually mention something he’s doing, and he doesn’t realize it’s special.

“Larry is just that all around guy, who is always there to do whatever needs doing,” Leslie said as she recalled a photo of Nellis administering oxygen to a rescued puppy.

Nellis’ work in the community extends beyond St. Mary’s. He’s an Eagle Scout and a water rescue volunteer. Most recently, he headed efforts to collect recyclable material to provide a local school with a bench for their reading garden. Leslie said Nellis likely gathered 80 percent of the caps himself.

“I just like helping people,” Nellis said. “That’s the main thing. That’s why I got into firefighting. That’s why I got into health care. It’s just a fit for me because I enjoy helping people. I feel rewarded when I help somebody.”

3 Alarm Fire in Newburgh

The fire started around 4:00 in the 9900 block of Crestview Place.  That’s near Grimm Road and State Road 662.When crews arrived, the house was already fully engulfed in flames.  The cold temperatures made things more difficult for firefighters.”We had some challenges this morning with the extreme cold temperatures. Our first hydrant we got to was frozen up, so it took a little time to get that hydrant opened up, so we could get water flowing from it”, said Newburgh Assistant Fire Chief Chad Bennett.Crews say part of the house fell on a firefighter, but he was uninjured.Investigators say the family that lives in the home was on vacation.We will have more on this story throughout the day on Eyewitness News.




Nine small businesses destroyed in Newburgh blaze


November 25,2012

NEWBURGH — It was not the start to Small Business Saturday that owners of shops in Newburgh’s Sharon Place shopping center had hoped for.

By the time the sun came up Saturday morning, the owners of nine businesses there found their stores reduced to smoldering rubble after a three-alarm fire raced through the shopping center located at the intersection of State Street and Sharon Road.

Around 60 firefighters from Newburgh, Chandler, Yankeetown and Ohio Township responded to the fire reported at 2:23 a.m. Saturday and battled the blaze for more than two hours. Assistant Newburgh Fire Chief Chad Bennett said the fire started in the central part of the shopping center and spread wildly throughout the rest of the building.

Crews had difficulty extinguishing the fire since flames had spread to the attic of one store and then crossed the firewall of a neighboring one. Bennett said the central location of the fire when it started made the fire more intense as it spread.

John Erickson, a senior public information officer with the Indiana Fire Marshal’s Office, said Saturday afternoon that investigators will need a couple days to determine the cause of the fire as crews excavate the rubble. He said there did not seem to be any signs that would indicate the fire was of suspicious origin.

“These nine businesses aren’t going to be having a very nice Small Business Saturday,” said Bennett, who called the fire the worse he’s seen in decades. “It’s a total loss for everybody.”

Among the businesses that occupied the shopping center were All Sewn Up, The Rug Gallery, Tan Evolution, Newburgh Learning Center, Make Time to Create, GirlFriends Boutique and Acceptance Capital Mortgage Corp. The center also housed River Ridge Church of Christ and one available space, which was to be leased Saturday to a woman planning to open a Christmas-themed shop called Mistletoe and Ivy.

Town Manager Cynthia Berger arrived at the fire around 3:15 a.m. and after a brief rest at home, spent the majority of Saturday morning talking with fire crews and other officials. She felt saddened by the impact on the local business owners.

“They were all charged up to have a great day, this is the busiest season for them,” she said. “Luckily no one was injured .”

Stan Brown, who runs Ellenton Equities, the company that has owned the Shopping Center for 10 years, was still receiving text messages from the woman Saturday morning asking if the company was going to rebuild as well as calls from shop owners eager to start over again.

“I was in disbelief when I first got here,” said Brown, as he sat in his van Saturday morning awaiting an insurance claims adjuster. “Everyone was jam packed with merchandise.”

Mike Kishline, owner of Rug Gallery, was one of those merchants. He said he had stocked extra merchandise for the holiday season in the tune of $800,000 to $900,000. Kishline has owned the business six years and had been a Sharon Place tenant for two years.

Loyal customers were bombarding Kishline with Facebook posts giving him support on Saturday morning. He said also received many encouraging phone calls, all telling him to rebuild.

“I saw everything I had worked for these past two years just wiped out,” said Kishline, a recent winner of the Tri-State Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for business ethics. “I knew that I was going to rebuild regardless, but now I have no doubt.”

Kishline also said he received strong support from his rug manufactures in India, who told him they would make sure he comes back stronger when he reopens. Kishline’s insurance company, American Family, pledged its full support.

Despite the devastation, Kishline plans to reopen before Christmas. Ideally he would love to stay in the same location or near downtown Newburgh.

“I will be back somewhere, somehow,” he said.

Bennett said the fire was the largest in Newburgh since November 1993 when the Landing restaurant, at the site of the current Edgewater Grill downtown, burned.

© 2012 Evansville Courier & Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 




Newburgh Sonic remains closed after early morning fire

Posted: Aug 12, 2012 4:29 PM CDTUpdated: Aug 19, 2012 4:29 PM CDT



The Newburgh Sonic Restaurant remains closed after an early morning fire.

The Newburgh Fire Department says that fire broke out around 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning in the kitchen’s fryer.

They tell 14 News that an employee tried to put the fire out before calling officials.  Newburgh’s Fire Chief says the fire was contained to the fryer area and the department worked with Ohio Township to get it put out quickly.

“Quick response, had plenty of people show up, plenty of apparatus and the fire was out in less than ten minutes. We were out of there in pretty much an hour. So, it was a great teamwork and great response,” said Newburgh Fire Department Chief Shawn Weber.

Officials say no one was injured in that fire. The restaurant hopes to be open again soon.
Copyright 2012 WFIE. All rights reserved.




State Fire Marshal rules on cause of Newburgh fire

Posted: May 13, 2012 12:13 PM CDTUpdated: May 20, 2012 1:59 PM CDT





Fire officials say a cause has been determined in a fire that destroyed a home on Sycamore Drive in Newburgh Sunday.

The State Fire Marshal investigated and ruled the fire as an accidental electrical fire that originated in the garage. He says strong wind caused it to spread quickly through the rest of the house.

Several agencies, including Ohio Township and Newburgh Volunteer Fire Departments, responded to the blaze just off State Road 261.

Officials say the flames were so powerful they had to fight them from the outside, but that wasn’t the only challenge they had in putting it out.

“I have never been this close to a fire that I can ever remember,” said neighbor Judy Jones.

Jones was enjoying a calm Sunday afternoon after Mother’s Day breakfast when the peace was suddenly shattered.

“I heard two explosions, and I ran through the house, and then I saw a whole lot of white smoke,” said Jones.

Smoke so thick, she says, she couldn’t even see across the street, and moments later, she says she saw flames covering the entire house next door.

“It was scary, mainly because of the wind, and spreading so fast. Of course, I was worried about my own house,” said Jones.

Assistant Fire Chief Chad Bennett with the Newburgh Volunteer Fire Department says a ladder truck was on scene within 10 minutes, and after seeing that everyone had gotten out safety, they began firing their hoses with an added emphasis in protecting to the neighboring homes. Thanks to the considerable space between the main house and Jones’ house, she was safe, but the house to the west had already sustained damage.

“Our first priority was to try and stop the fire from spreading to that residence because we knew the house was a total loss at that point, the way the fire was blowing out of it,” said Bennett.

Bennett says firefighters struggled with the wind while battling the blaze because the direction of the wind helped feed the flames. Firefighters calmed the fire from the outside and then ventured inside to cool down the hot spots.

Bennett says they believe the fire started in the garage but they still have some cleanup to do at the house before they can determine that for sure.

“Everything from the second floor was coming into the garage area, so we’re going to have to sift through all of that in order to get to that,” said Bennett.

Bennett says they also began their investigation into the cause of the fire Sunday afternoon.

At least one person was home at the time.  We’re told he and his dog both got out safely.  No one was hurt.

The Red Cross is assisting firefighters and those displaced by the fire.

Copyright 2012 WFIE. All rights reserved.



Newburgh Fire getting new radios after five-figure donation

Posted: Jan 27, 2012 4:30 PM CSTUpdated: Feb 03, 2012 4:30 PM CST


The Newburgh Fire Department is getting some new radios thanks to a $10,000 donation from neighboring Knight Township.

Knight Township isn’t providing any more fire rescue, but they still have a fire board.  This week, they donated money to the Newburgh Volunteer Fire Department for radio equipment.

Assistant Fire Chief Chad Bennett says they will be replacing 10 year old radios and now have enough money to equip everyone with a portable radio.

The radios are used to communicate with an incident commander during a fire rescue or other type of rescue. The money will pay for 20 portable radios.

“We were very honored that we were able to get this request from them.  It’s kind of a bittersweet deal for the Newburgh Department, we had such a close working relationship with the guys and the gals at Knight Township over the years, now that they are gone this grant allows their legacy to live on a little bit,” Bennett said.

The Knight Township Fire Board was able to make the donations after selling some of its equipment when they closed at the end of 2010.

Copyright 2012 WFIE. All rights reserved.

Newburgh Fire Department