The Hastings Gazette, February 4, 1960
Defective wiring and oversized fuses have been pinpointed as suspected causes of an explosive fire which last Thursday evening destroyed the Ace Hardware and Furniture store, heavily damaged the adjoining Sears-Robuck and Bathrick’s Home Appliances stores, and left in its wake destruction estimated at $175,000.
But for the furious frontal, rear and top-side assault waged by the Hastings Fire Department against the blaze which burst into spontaneous full fury seconds after 6 p.m., the entire 200 block in the heart of this city’s business section could have gone up in flames.
When Mrs. Rose Seleski’s apartment over the furniture section of Ace Hardware was destroyed in last Thursday’s fire, her prized collection of salt and pepper shakers, valued at $2,600 went up in flames. The fact that her hobby collection was wiped out, even though partially insured for $2,000 was the biggest blow for the local lady. Brighter note: she received $2,000 insurance check yesterday on loss of household goods, from Sontag Insurance Agency.