house fire

Hastings firefighters clean up following the extinguishment of a fatal house fire Thursday morning at 501 University St.

A man in his 50s died Thursday morning in a house fire at 501 University St., according to Hastings Fire and Rescue.

Fire Chief Brad Starling said the cause of the fire and the man’s death are  under investigation with assistance from the Hastings Police Department and Nebraska State Fire Marshal’s Office. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday morning to determine the cause of the man’s death.

A passer-by reported the fire about 4:20 a.m. When firefighters arrived, the house was fully involved in the blaze.

Starling said neighbors reported that the home’s only occupant hadn’t been seen and may still be inside, making search and rescue the top priority. Firefighters quickly knocked down the fire enough to allow entry into the building to search for the resident.

By the time firefighters located the man, he had already died.

City firefighters had assistance from an engine with Hastings Rural Fire Department and received support from the American Red Cross.

Two firefighters were treated for dehydration, but no other injuries were reported in the fire.

Starling said more information about the incident will be released after the autopsy and fire marshal’s investigation are complete.

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