Hastings Fire

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A 45-year-old Hastings man is in critical condition Wednesday after a fire destroyed the three-story landmark building in which he was living.

Officials at Saint Elizabeth Hospital in Lincoln say Jim Ewers is in critical condition in the burn unit.

Ewers was in his apartment in the nearly 120 year old Kipp Cigar Building when fire broke out early this morning.

A woman living in another apartment in the brick building woke up to find smoke everywhere and firefighters already in the building. She says she started yelling and firefighters got her out of the blaze.

Cause of the fire is being investigated. The owner of the downtown building, Jim Kyle, says he was told the fire started in Ewers' apartment.

Ewers was working for Kyle to renovate the second floor into four apartments. Only two of the units were occupied.

The building was one of 25 on an Historic Hastings Walking tour.