Hastings Co-Op Creamery likely total loss after overnight fire

A fire started Wednesday at a creamery in Hastings, and residents were told to stay indoors over the concerns of possibly harmful chemicals being released from the fire.

Officials say the fire started around 10:30 p.m. at a Hastings Co-Op Creamery on the 1700 block of Vermillion Street. The fire quickly grew to a 3-alarm fire, but it has since been contained as of early Thursday morning. 

Crews remain on the scene to extinguish hot spots and no injuries have been reported. The building was believed to be vacant at the time of the fire as the business closed in August, but it's likely considered a total loss. However, the biggest concern is the air quality.

Residents were notified to stay indoors, close windows and air exchange systems due to smoke in the area potentially containing anhydrous ammonia. 

There are no known threats to the community due to the fire. Multiple air samples were taken around the community, and they were registering clear of harmful contaminants.

Highway 61 was closed in both directions as crews battled the fire but has since been fully reopened as of 7:40 a.m. 

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.