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HFD Fights 4 Plex Fire

KDWA was on the scene of a 2 alarm fire that took place on a frigid Wednesday afternoon just before 3pm. The Hastings Fire station was emptied with a half dozen trucks responding to the call including the arieal ladder truck that is capable of directing water from overhead. The brick two story 4 plex on Florence Street between 15th and 16th had smoke rolling out of the west-facing windows when units arrived and the hoses from the first truck poured a significant amount of water into the second floor window. Several minutes later, a truck arrived from mutual aid partner Miesville, however by that time, the flames had been quelled. In the 15 degree fading afternoon sun, two firefighters climbed to the roof, using a long blade chainsaw to cut a small hole in the roof to provide access that could determine if fire had spread to the cavity between ceiling and rooftop.
I engaged in a brief conversation around 4:10 with Hastings Police Deputy Chief David Wilske, who confirmed that all persons were accounted for and that Red Cross responders were on the way to help the 4 families that will be displaced from the incident. A significant amount of water and smoke damage will add to cleanup to come. Responders equiped with Self contained Breathing apparatus did locate a cat, which had been overcome by the smoke. Crews brought the animal outside and a small, customized oxygen mask was used to return the pet to consciousness. The cause of the fire has not been determined and the amount of damage or exact number of people impacted are yet known.
UPDATE- In an update to this story, crews and equipment remained on the scene past 7 pm, according to witnesses who saw members of the Hastings department continue to enter the building and roof area, presumably to assure a complete clear for the structure. We will ask for confirmation of that from Chief Schutt when he files his report.

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