BRIDGEPORT -- About 11:30 a.m. Sunday, January 14, a fire started in the basement of Ashley Penfield's home. 

Once the fire was extinguished, the home and the contents were a total loss. 

Penfield is now living with her brother in Gering.

She said the fire was electrical in nature, related to overloading the electrical system when trying to thaw pipes under the trailer home.

Trinette Wells of the Bridgeport Fire Department said the overloaded circuits is a result of a space heater. Bridgeport Volunteer Fire Department was paged at 11:37 a.m. Sunday, sending two units and seven personnel. Bayard Volunteer Fire Department also responded with two units and seven personnel. Wells said Morrill County Community Ambulance responded, but no injuries were reported.

"It caused a fire under my house," Penfield said.

She said there were no injuries. She and her dogs escaped injury.  She is left with only the clothes she was wearing at the time. She said her sister in Gering is helping her with clothes.

"It's going to be a long road. All of this is super overwhelming," she said today.

The fire happened as she was applying for an FHA loan to buy her own home. She said what is the hardest is losing some of the keepsakes, the memories, of her father who died a few years ago.

Donations of monetary or household goods are being accepted at Nein Pharmacy in Bridgeport in support of Penfield. There is also a donation site at

Supporters also plan to establish an account at a Bridgeport bank in support of Penfield. 

Donation jars have been set at Frankie's Bar & Grill in Bridgeport. A benefit dinner is planned for Saturday, January 27.