HASTINGS, NE - Contractors are beginning to remove the brick façade from a downtown Hastings building that suffered severe smoke and water damage.

The building at 706 W 2nd St. was home to M & M Designs and was damaged when its neighbor, Bert's Pharmacy, burned down in March.

The city says bricks are being individually removed in order to preserve property adjacent to the building. The façade must be removed prior to removing the steel structures that have closed the left-hand lane of 2nd St. at the site.

Motorists and pedestrians are encouraged to use caution when navigating downtown.