HASTINGS, MINNESOTA - Around 10:33 PM on Wednesday, September 13, 2023 police reported a fire at the old Hastings Co-Op Creamery located at 1701 Vermillion Street in Hastings, Minnesota. Several units from the Hastings Fire Department were paged out about a minute after the initial report was made. It was confirmed a working fire by fire personnel at around 10:38 PM with Hastings Chief 2 arriving at the scene. The chief quickly upgraded the fire to a second alarm upon arrival. Police also quickly closed down Highway 61 so fire crews could get to the scene of the fire.
With the upgrade to a second alarm, additional rigs from the Hastings Fire Department were called along with mutual aid from the Rosemount Fire Department, Riverfalls, Wisconsin Medics, Miesville Fire Department, and Cottage Grove Fire Department.
At around 10:41 PM, emergency personnel on the scene were reporting fire coming from the loading dock areas with the smell of ammonia also present. At 10:47 PM, it was confirmed that there was an ammonia leak and the fire was once again upgraded to a third-alarm fire for the Hazmat situation. With the upgrade to a third alarm for hazmat, the St. Paul Park Fire Department was called to the scene. Winds were reported to be blowing to the southeast at 5 mph. With the ammonia threat, police expanded road closures around the fire and extended them further down Highway 61 northbound at Highway 55 and Highway 61 southbound at Vermillion Road.
Residents in the area of the fire were told to keep their windows shut, turn off their AC units, and stay inside while crews mitigated the fire and the ammonia leak.
At 11:32 PM this was upgraded to a 4th alarm fire for just engines. This upgrade brought mutual aid from the Apple Valley Fire Department, Inver Grove Heights Fire Department, Randolph Hampton Fire Department, and an additional rig from the Rosemount Fire Department, and Prescott Fire Department.
It is unknown at this time if anyone was in the building at the time of the fire or if there were any injuries as a result of the fire. We also do not know what started the fire at this time. As more information is made available, we will pass along additional updates.