Hastings, NE – Early morning fire at homeless shelter controlled by sprinkler system; No injuries

Those living in a Hastings homeless shelter were displaced overnight following a fire early Wednesday morning. The Hastings Fire Department says they were called to the Crossroads Rescue Center just after midnight. Smoke could be seen in the building as fire crews arrived.

Staff said all 87 people were out and uninjured when fire crews arrived. The fire was found in the north basement of the building. Hastings Fire Chief Kent Gilbert says the sprinkler system was able to keep the fire from spreading much before firefighters arrived.

Hastings Rural and Juniata Rural firefighters also responded. While crews were working on extinguishing the fire in the basement, others assisted with searching the other floors and reducing smoke damage with ventilation. Part of 14th Street was closed for more than two hours because of the fire.

Adams County Emergency Management was called to the scene to assist with relocating the residents displaced by the fire. The fire department says most were relocated to 20 rooms in the C3 Hotel.

A state fire marshal determined the fire was started accidentally when bedding came in contact with a heater. Wednesday, the shelter was cleaning up after returning to the building around 8 a.m.

“We have great guests here at Crossroads. Everybody pitched in, especially the men, just pitched in. We took up flooring. We cleaned up soot. We took out burnt items. Probably by noon we were mainly cleaned up,” said Crossroads Program Director Daniel Buller.

Buller said the damage is mostly contained to the basement laundry room where the fire started, but work continues to help prevent mold. He said insurance should cover the damage, but the need for things like food and toiletries at the shelter is ongoing.

The estimated cost of the damage is not yet known.

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