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House fire April 12 causes major damage; no injuries

A blue tarp was covering the roof of the Hastings home the day following the fire. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia

Hastings firefighters assisted in extinguishing a fire in the 2000 block of Ashland Street around 1:30 a.m. April 12. All occupants were safely evacuated prior to the firefighters arrival.

Upon arrival, heavy fire was visible on the rear of the structure both on the exterior and interior. Fire was in the attic traveling both north and south.

Firefighters performed an offensive interior attack while crews laddered the roof and vented the attic area and assisted in working to extinguish the fire.

"The firefighters did a fantastic job of quickly bringing the fire under control and keeping it from spreading further," said Mike Schutt, fire and EMS director at the Hastings Fire Department.

During the firefighting operations, a hose line "kicked" while a firefighter was working on a ground ladder. The kick caused the firefighter to lose his balance and fall about 5 feet. The firefighter was not injured.

The overhead electrical power lines leading to the residence shorted out during the fire. It created a large volume of arcing that lasted about 20 seconds.

The structure sustained major damage, but Schutt said that he believes it is repairable. The estimated cost of damage is about $125,000 to $150,000.

The fire was caused by the unintentional discarding of smoking material. The origin of the fire was on the deck next to the exterior wall.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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