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Nebraska Fire Marshal Says Lightning Caused Massive Fire

Nebraska Fire Marshal Says Lightning Caused Massive Fire

Created: May 25, 2019 09:01 AM

HASTINGS, Neb. (AP) - The Nebraska Fire Marshal's office has determined a lightning strike caused the fire that destroyed a fertilizer plant and injured three people.

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The office said in a news release Friday afternoon that the fire at Cooperative Producers Inc. dry fertilizer plant at Hastings has been declared "natural in origin." The state office says it was aided by the Hastings Fire Department and three other departments, as well as Adams County Emergency Management, in investigating the cause of the fire.

Preliminary damage estimates for the building is $14 million. The damage to products inside the building is estimated at another $5 million.

The fire was reported about 11:30 p.m. Thursday and was contained just before 4 a.m. Friday. The blaze forced authorities to close U.S. Highway 6 for several hours.

The Hastings Tribune reports that three semitrailer drivers who had been sleeping in their vehicles parked at the plant were injured. They were treated and released from a local hospital.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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