Barn fire in Beatrice may be arson

Authorities are investigating the cause of a barn fire deemed an arson, near Beatrice early Tuesday evening. The blaze destroyed a two-story wooden barn along the east side of Southwest 45th Road, less than a mile north of the U-S Highway 136 curve just west of Beatrice.  Beatrice Rural Fire District Chief Kent Schroeder says firefighters were able to keep the blaze from spreading to other buildings, including a farm house that is west of the structure.  The flames torched grass about 50 yards east of the house.   Schroeder says units and firefighters from several departments reached the scene quickly, and appeared to have the flames under control in about a half-hour to 45-minutes. Gage County Sheriffs officers were investigating a report of two people seen running from the scene of the fire.