Click here to view a video of the blaze.
The former Rod Kush mansion went up in flames Sunday as part of a fire training exercise, with several area fire departments participating.
The Gretna Volunteer Fire Department was among the agencies using the 17-room house for a test burn. The Nebraska Fire Marshal's Office also was on the scene.
Fire crews first set individual rooms on fire to practice fighting a residential blaze. Eventually the whole mansion was set on fire.
The home, at 14,000-plus square feet, was completed in 1997 near Nebraska Highways 370 and 6, the dream of local businessman and former NFL player Rod Kush. It once carried a valuation of $2.6 million, but in June 2011 the Sarpy County Assessor's Office deemed the home worthless because of mold, and valued 35 acres and improvements at $539,916.
Kush sold the property for $1.6 million in 2008 to FRK Development, which then donated it to Catholic Charities for a planned youth substance abuse treatment center.
When those plans fell through, Catholic Charities sold the property and home in October 2010 to Larry Smith of Elkhorn for $612,000.
Contact the writer: 402-444-1272, email@example.com