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Updated: Fire engulfs Hastings home, does significant damage

A Hastings firefighter battles the blaze at 15th and Forest streets in Hastings. Star Gazette photo by Chad Richardson

A Hastings home at 15th and Forest streets sustained significant damage from a fire Saturday morning. The fire was reported by residents at 11:07 a.m.

Two of the home’s three residents were inside at the time of the fire. No one was injured.

The fire is believed to have started in a dryer in the home’s basement, said Assistant Fire and EMS Director John Townsend. By the time firefighters arrived, the fire had moved from the basement into the main floor. It eventually spread into the attic as well.

One factor that led to the fire’s quick spread was a number of doors and windows the residents had opened in an attempt to remove smoke from the home, Townsend said. The extra air fed the fire more oxygen and helped it spread.

Responders attempted to fight the fire from inside the home, but that crew was pulled out when the fire started moving up the main level behind them, Townsend said. After that, the fire was extinguished from the outside using water.

Firefighters were on scene until about 5 p.m. The Hastings Fire Department was assisted by the Miesville, Prescott, Cottage Grove and Rosemount fire departments. Mutual aid was called to provide relief for firefighters responding. Any fire requires a significant number of people, Townsend said, especially when they’re working for extended periods of time.

“A long fire on a cold day like that takes a large number of personnel working,” he said.

Keep your dryers clean

Townsend encouraged people to help avoid house fires by keeping their dryer lint traps and vents clean. He noted that dust and lint can build up underneath a dryer as well.

“Lint and dust can collect beneath your dryer units and, over a period of time, create enough to spark a fire,” he said.

He said residents should clean underneath the dryers and also clean the vents as well as the lint traps. He said collapsible dryer vents are more likely to get a lot of accumulation. The metal, smooth type vents are safer, he said.