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Volunteer Firefighter Charged with DUI

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SAUNDERS COUNTY, Neb (KPTM)- Authorities say a volunteer fire fighter in Ceresco drove a fire truck into a ditch on Memorial Day weekend while en route to a house fire in Valparaiso.

Saunders County deputies say the crash happened may have happened because he had been drinking.

Wednesday Rodney Lovell was charged with DUI.

"When I heard the sirens and everything it was about two in the morning, and I was in bed," resident Frank Buresch said.

The unexpected wake up call to Lovell came after a home struck by lighting in Valparaiso. "I saw some smoke and flames and I watched  for probably 15 minutes."

 Lovell was the first man at the station to respond to the call for backup. He grabbed the wheel with three other men on board to head to Valparaiso.

The firefighter made it about ten miles from Ceresco with no problems. It wasn't until he was just a couple of blocks from the burning home that he missed his turn and ended up in this ditch.

The Ceresco Fire Chief said volunteers aren't forced to show up if they can't make it for any reason it's not a problem. The chief said Lovell should have just ignored the call.

Lovell resigned after 30 years with the department.

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