Fire destroys Hastings duplex

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Fire officials said a duplex was a total loss after a late-night blaze ripped through the two-story property in Hastings.

The June 13 fire rapidly spread through both floors of the home at 309 W. Fifth St. and caused an estimated $150,000 loss, according to Hastings fire and EMS director Mike Schutt.

Firefighters were called to the property at 11:21 p.m. The residents had evacuated before firefighters arrived, but first-responders rescued two cats and a bearded dragon lizard, according to Schutt's report.

There was fire on the first and second levels and a large amount of burning in the walls and attic, Schutt said. Remodeling had created numerous false ceilings and walls, concealing and helping to spread the fire.

At one point the kitchen ceiling gave way, forcing firefighters out to attempt to extinguish the blaze from the exterior.

Schutt said the fire started in a concealed space in a wall on the first-level kitchen. The cause was under investigation, but the fire may have been smoldering for several hours before it was reported.

Hastings was assisted by Cottage Grove, Rosemount and Miesville firefighters.