Blaze Turns Historic Nebraska Opera House Into Icy Winter Wonder

Building froze as soon as firefighters sprayed it with water

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Nati Harnik / AP

Sunlight streams through the windows of a building which caught on fire in Plattsmouth, Neb., Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, and the water sprayed on it by fire fighters froze.

The arctic freeze sweeping the Eastern U.S. transformed a burnt-out Nebraska building into a winterland wonder.

The Waterman Opera House of Plattsmouth, Neb. — home to more than 40 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places — was gutted after it caught fire Friday, the Omaha World Herald reports. Firefighters sprayed the structure with water, but thanks to the extreme cold plaguing large swaths of the nation, the water froze as soon it made contact with the concrete building, creating something of a marvel.

As sunlight streamed through the doomed structure’s windows, photographers managed to snap a few beautiful, slightly haunting images, like the one above.

Here, a nearby mailbox and bench are also seen frozen over:

Winter Weather Nebraska

Nati Harnik / AP

The now-gutted Waterman Opera House dates back to 1882. Over the years, it has housed a grocery store, the local newspaper, a chiropractic center and other local businesses.

3 comments
DougD
DougD

Congrats to Nati Harnik on the photos.

CynthiaRood
CynthiaRood

So sad that a beautiful building like this has been destroyed. The pictures are amazing. 

AndyPierce
AndyPierce

This vintage building appears to be constructed of brick and heavy timber. It does not appear to be made of concrete as reported. Please check your facts and send this story back through the copy editors.