Eaton employees cited for fire at Hastings facility

Eaton cited for failure to follow hot work permit in morning fire
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 4:39 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 16, 2023 at 7:48 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The Hastings Fire Marshall issued two citations after a Thursday fire at the Hastings Eaton plant.

According to a city press release, Hastings Fire & Rescue responded to a fire at 300 E. 39th St. at 10 a.m. Eaton has discontinued operations at its Hastings facility, but employees and contractors were on site to disassemble and remove equipment. While workers were using a plasma cutter to remove equipment the cutting process ignited built up oil residue and fire began to spread throughout that part of the building.

The building’s automatic sprinkler system came on and limited the spread until city crews put out the fire. Six employees were in the building at the time. None were injured.

The city press release said this was the second fire this year at the plant with the first one occurring Jan. 6. The sprinkler system, employees, and firefighters saved the building with their quick actions each time.

HFR estimates the building to value at more than $9 million.

The fire marshal cited Eaton employees for two cases of failure to follow a so-called “hot work” permit, directly resulting in the fires.