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Tornado Strains Metro Fire Departments

Photo Courtesy Of Josh Grubb

Photo Courtesy Of Josh Grubb

Photo Courtesy Of Josh Grubb

Photo Courtesy Of Josh Grubb

Photo Courtesy Of Josh Grubb

Photo Courtesy Of Josh Grubb

MAY 22 – Fire crews in the Twin Cities were very busy this evening and will remain busy throughout the night managing the aftermath of today’s tornado.

Tornado damage was extensive on the North Side of Minneapolis and through Fridley this afternoon, toppling trees and destroying buildings.

Minneapolis Fire taxed its resources managing the damage that sliced through a large area of the North Side neighborhoods from the Near North Side to Camden.

In Fridley, damage was reported in the 694 & University area and Northeast from that location including trees down and roofs being blown off structures.

Fridley Fire Department staffed its stations prior to the tornado and activated its EOC immediately after they started receiving reports of damage.

Mutual Aid was started from Columbia Heights,  Spring Lake Park-Blaine-Mounds View as well as St. Anthony.

Other fire agencies in the metro were busy with storm related calls including St. Louis Park who fought a dwelling fire in the 3000 Block of Oregon Ave South with the assistance of Hopkins Fire Department.

Twin Cities Fire Wire will update this story when more information is available.

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Fridley Natural Gas Leak Causes Evacuations

Twin Cities Fire Wire Photo

Twin Cities Fire Wire Photo

Twin Cities Fire Wire Photo

Twin Cities Fire Wire Photo

Twin Cities Fire Wire Photo

MAY 19 – Fridley Fire Department crews responded to a six inch gas line leak that was ruptured by contractors operating a backhoe.  The incident in the area of  58th Avenue and 2 1/2 street today caused a neighborhood to be evacuated.

Fridley Fire crews were called to the area for a natural gas leak.  First arriving crews determined that the line was six inches in diameter and started an immediate evacuation of the area with Fridley Police.

Fridley Engine 3 laid a 4 inch supply line and a pre-connect line for safety.

Mutual Aid was started from Columbia Heights, Brooklyn Center, Saint Anthony and Spring Lake Park-Blaine-Mounds View to cover stations and assist at the scene.

Fridley Chief 1 reported at 3:30pm today that the gas leak had been secured.

Twin Cities Fire Wire will update this story when more information is available.

Large Scale Gas Leak Prompts Evacuations in St. Anthony, Minneapolis

May 10 – A gas main that was struck during maintenance work caused evacuations in St. Anthony and Minneapolis on Tuesday afternoon. Firefighters remained on the scene for 14 hours to protect utility works that were involved in the massive repair effort.

St. Anthony firefighters were called to the intersection of Stinson Boulevard. and 30th Avenue NE around 2:30 p.m.

Chief John Malenick said that contractors working for CenterPoint Energy were performing routine maintenance when they punctured a four-inch hole in the 12-inch main. The gas was under pressure at 90 psi and people in the area reported a large hissing sound.

The size of the leak prompted evacuations of a four-block area. Since parts of Minneapolis were going to be evacuated, Minneapolis fire crews were summoned to the scene.

The pressure of the blowing gas, coupled with the large size of the hole reduced the immediate danger to residents on the street, according to Malenick.

Saint Anthony struck an all-call and mutual aid was later called from Columbia Heights, New Brighton and Roseville.

CenterPoint officials determined that shutting down the main would impact too large of an area, including Northeast Minneapolis, Columbia Heights and other surrounding communities. They had to cut the line at two locations and create a new line to bypass the leak.

Firefighters staffed hoselines in the areas where workers were making the repairs. “Our priority was to protect the workers,” Malenick said. “They were in an extremely vulnerable position.”

He also said that gas seeping into the ground of the surrounding neighborhoods was a concern, but it was closely monitored.

Malenick said that close to 20 St. Anthony firefighters stayed on scene until the repair was completed and any dangers were removed. The crews were released around 6 a.m.

The Minneapolis Mobile command unit was called to the scene to assist in organizing the large number of agencies, including police, fire, utilities, public works and other support groups. Hennepin EMS crews were also on the scene of the incident.

“It was a tremendous effort on behalf of all agencies who were called out,” Malenick told Twin Cities Fire Wire.

Update: Two Injured in Fridley Chemical Explosion

Fridley Fire, Spec Plating, Explosion, Fridley Minnesota, Hazmat, Hazardous Materials, Twin Cities Fire Wire

Twin Cities Fire Wire Photo

Fridley Fire, Spec Plating, Explosion, Fridley Minnesota, Hazmat, Hazardous Materials, Twin Cities Fire Wire

Twin Cities Fire Wire Photo

Fridley Fire, Spec Plating, Explosion, Fridley Minnesota, Hazmat, Hazardous Materials, Twin Cities Fire Wire

Twin Cities Fire Wire Photo

Fridley Fire, Spec Plating, Explosion, Fridley Minnesota, Hazmat, Hazardous Materials, Twin Cities Fire Wire

Twin Cities Fire Wire Photo

Fridley Fire, Spec Plating, Explosion, Fridley Minnesota, Hazmat, Hazardous Materials, Twin Cities Fire Wire

Twin Cities Fire Wire Photo

Fridley Fire, Spec Plating, Explosion, Fridley Minnesota, Hazmat, Hazardous Materials, Twin Cities Fire Wire

Twin Cities Fire Wire Photo

May 10 – We have an update on today’s explosion at a Fridley business.

Fire crews were called to Spec Plating, at 160 83rd Ave. NE, for a reported chemical explosion with injuries at at 11:07 a.m.

Fridley Fire Chief John Berg told Twin Cities Fire Wire that the chemicals, Phosphoric Acid and Nitric Acid, “were violently released from a container after a reaction of unknown origin.”

More than 70 employees were evacuated from the building.

Fridley Aerial 2 entered the building with PH paper to determine the extent of the contamination.

Engine 3 and Rescue 3 set up a decontamination area. Using hydrant water, they decontaminated three workers who came in contact with the chemicals.

Two of those workers were transported to area hospitals by Allina EMS.

Berg said that emergency officials released the building back to the company at 12:30 p.m. and they company was responsible for cleaning up the spill.

Columbia Heights firefighters covered Fridley Station 1 until they were requested to a house fire in Blaine. New Brighton crews were then called to cover Fridley Station 1.

  • Assignment: Fridley Engine 3, Aerial 2, Rescue 1, 2 and 3

Fire Explorer Event Looking for Volunteers

April 29, 2011 Leave a comment

We received a request from the Minnesota Fire Exploring Association to spread the word as they are actively recruiting volunteers for this year’s Minnesota Fire Exploring Conference.

The event takes place on May 14 at the Columbia Heights Safety Center and begins at 8 a.m. More than 30 Minnesota Fire Explorer posts are expected to attend the event.

The group is looking for about 60 firefighters, officers and emergency medical professionals volunteers to help judge the competition, which consists of several fire and EMS events. Meals will be provided for the volunteers.

Please contact Maple Grove Fire Lt. Riley Slimmer at raslimmer@gmail.com or by phone at 612-282-6061.

You can learn more about the future members of the Minnesota fire service by visiting www.mn-fea.org

Columbia Heights Fourplex Fire Leaves 1 Injured

April 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Twin Cities Fire Wire Photo

Twin Cities Fire Wire Photo

Twin Cities Fire Wire Photo

Twin Cities Fire Wire Photo

Twin Cities Fire Wire Photo

Twin Cities Fire Wire Photo

April 18 – Firefighters extinguished a fourplex fire around 6:00 p.m. Monday in Columbia Heights.

Firefighters were called to 4615 Tyler St. NE  for a reported dwelling fire.

Columbia Heights Chief 2  arrived to find smoke showing from the top floor of the two-story fourplex residence.  During his initial assessment Chief 2 came across a victim with smoke inhalation that needed to be evaluated and requested Allina medics to the rear of the structure.

Crews stretched handlines from Aerial 15 to the second floor and quickly extinguished the fire

Units remained on scene for about 30 minutes for overhaul and ventilation.

  • Assignment:  Aerial 15, Engines 1 and 4, Rescue 1 and Chief 2

Update: Cooking Led to Columbia Heights Fire

March 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Twin Cities Fire Wire Photo

Twin Cities Fire Wire Photo

Twin Cities Fire Wire Photo

Twin Cities Fire Wire Photo

Twin Cities Fire Wire Photo

March 7 – The Columbia Heights apartment fire that Twin Cities Fire Wire reported on last night was caused by cooking.

Columbia Heights crews were called to 907 46 1/2 Ave. about 8 p.m. While they were responding they received updates of heavy smoke in the hallways of the building. Fridley and St. Anthony fire units were dispatched as well.

Engine 1 arrived and reported fire showing from a second floor apartment. The three-story building contains 21 units.

Crews pulled a 2 1/2-inch hoseline with a gated wye. They stretched a 1 3/4-inch hoseline off the wye and entered the fire apartment, where they contained the fire to the area around the stove, according to Lt. Dan O’Brien.

“The cause is a cooking fire, left unattended,” O’Brien said.

The mutual aid crews stood by and were returned shortly after the fire was doused.

The fire was held to the kitchen of the one apartment, but smoke travelled throughout the building and likely damaged all units.

  • Assignment: Columbia Heights Engine 1 and Ladder 1. Mutual Aid: Fridley Ladder 2 and St. Anthony Engine 11

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