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Video: Tankers Needed to Control Lake Elmo House Fire

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Lake Elmo House Fire, Highland Ct. N., Minnesota, Tanker Shuttle, Minesota Firefighter, Minneapolis, Twin Cities Fire Wire

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Oakdale Fire, Lake Elmo House Fire, Highland Ct. N., Minnesota, Tanker Shuttle, Minesota Firefighter, Minneapolis, Twin Cities Fire Wire

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Oakdale Fire, Lake Elmo House Fire, Highland Ct. N., Minnesota, Tanker Shuttle, Minesota Firefighter, Minneapolis, Twin Cities Fire Wire

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Oakdale Fire, Lake Elmo House Fire, Highland Ct. N., Minnesota, Tanker Shuttle, Minesota Firefighter, Minneapolis, Twin Cities Fire Wire

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Lake Elmo House Fire, Highland Ct. N., Minnesota, Tanker Shuttle, Minesota Firefighter, Minneapolis, Twin Cities Fire Wire

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This story was updated and new photos and video were added Tuesday morning.

May 9 – Firefighters from two states battled a late night house fire in a Lake Elmo cul-de-sac on Monday.

Firefighters were called to 5757 Highlands Ct. N. around 10:30 p.m., according to Lake Elmo Fire Chief Greg Malmquist.

A Washington County Sheriff’s deputy arrived and reported flames and smoke showing from the two-story home, which was set back several hundred feet from the road. The lone occupant had evacuated when the deputy arrived.

After a quick size-up, which showed flames engulfing the entire back of the home, he ordered a defensive attack.

The area was not equipped with hydrants, so water tankers were called into to help firefighters tackle the flames. Tankers came from: Bayport, Hudson, Lower St. Croix Valley, Mahtomedi, Maplewood North St. Paul and Oakdale.

Two drop tank sites were set up in the street in front of the home. The tankers were replenished up at Oakdale Station 1 on Helmo, where Oakdale firefighters had two fill sites.

Firefighters used to aerial master streams to tame the raging fire. Lake Elmo’s was set up in the driveway on the D-side and one from Oakdale in the driveway of the home.

Malmquist said that neighbors were concerned that the fire would spread to a nearby home and early efforts focused on saving that structure.

The fire was under control around 1 a.m.

About 75 firefighters were called to the scene and the Salvation Army was called in to provide them with relief supplies.

The Minnesota State Fire Marshal was expected to begin it’s investigation early Tuesday morning.

Woodbury fire crews were called to cover Lake Elmo stations.

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Edina Fire Chief Talks About Operations at Fatal House Fire

April 19, 2011 Leave a comment

April 18 – Edina Fire Chief Marty Scheerer talked with Twin Cities Fire Wire today about Monday morning’s house fire that claimed the life of a 54-year-old woman.

“It was a routine fire, except for the tragic loss of the resident,” Scheerer said.

Edina fire crews were called to 5300 block of Oaklawn Avenue at 4:47 a.m.

A police officer, who is also a paid-on-call firefighter in Edina arrived moments before firefighters and performed a quick size-up of the home. He found heavy smoke from throughout the from the 1 1/2-story home and flames showing from the A/B-corner in the basement.0

As Edina Engine 83 arrived, residents informed responders that three people occupy the home and were home. In rapid succession, the second and third alarms were called.

Engine 83’s crews stretched a handline in the front door as Richfield Engine 1 laid a supply line to Engine 83.

“As firefighters made their way in the front door, they found the victim and removed her to an ambulance.”

As crews made their way inside the structure, they encountered an area where the floor burned through. They retreated and gained entry through an egress window in the basement on the D-side of the home.

“We wanted to get a hold on the fire,” Scheerer said. “We had found the one victim and because of the time of the day, we wanted to try to find the other two who were supposed to be home.”

Firefighters made a push into the basement and contained the fire to the basement area.

As crews performed primary and secondary searches of the home, they found that the fire burned through the floor in two rooms. Scheerer estimates a hole about two feet in diameter burned through the living room floor in the front of the home.
A second hole, about six feet in diameter, burned through the kitchen on the B/C-corner of the home.

The fire was declared under control in about 30 minutes, but crews had extensive overhaul work to do. The flames burned through the exterior walls on the A/B-corner of the home and crews had to tear through lathe and plaster to stop the spread eof fire.

Firefighters from Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Hopkins, Richfield and St. Louis Park responded to the fire, along with Hennepin EMS. The Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s Office was called into to assist with the investigation of the fire.

Scheerer said that the department recently brought on a fire chaplain. “He handled the situation really well,” Scheerer said of the chaplain’s interactions with the victim’s family.

“He was spectacular and really helped the family and assisted us in dealing with the tragic situation at hand.”

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Update: Officials Investigate Maple Grove Home Explosion

April 16, 2011 Leave a comment

April 16 – We have an update on the explosion and fire that destroyed a home in Maple Grove earlier today.

Units were dispatched to 94th Avenue and Saratgoa Lane around 7:15 a.m. Maple Grove stations 2 and 3, along with an engine from Osseo was alerted.

Chief 1 and Captain 31 arrived to find the wall on side-C blown out of the one-story home. Chief 1, Scott Anderson, said that the roof was sagging and flames were visible in the interior and through the roof of the structure.

Maple Grove Engine 31 laid a supply line and crews deployed a pre-connected Blitzfire to protect the neighboring homes. Crews also put 1 3/4-inch hoselines with Class A foam into operations.

Osseo Tanker 11 secured a second water supply at a nearby hydrant and additional hoselines were deployed to the C-side of the home.

Anderson said trees surrounding the property hampered the initial set up of Maple Grove Ladder 21, but once it was positioned, Osseo Tanker 11 supplied the ladder pipe operation.

The fire was knocked down and the adjoining home suffered very little damage. The initial home was destroyed by the blast and fire.

He believes it to be the result of a gas leak, but crews from the Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s office, Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety and the Hennepin County Investigation team are on scene to investigate.

‘Close Call’ at Savage Townhouse Fire

February 3, 2011 1 comment
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Firefighters had a close call at a townhouse fire in Savage early Thursday.

Fire units were called to 6811 140th St. at 3:44 a.m. for a report of a working fire.

A captain with the Savage Fire Department, who lives in the townhouse complex, arrived to find fire showing from one window of the one-story, four-unit townhouse complex.

The occupant of the townhouse was outside when responders arrived. The captain teamed up with two police officers to evacuate the other three units in the building. They assisted one resident, who needed a wheelchair to exit the unit.

Savage Fire Chief Joel McColl arrived at 3:49 a.m. and took command and Deputy Chief 4 assumed operations.

First arriving Savage Engine 11 stretched a 1 3/4-inch hoseline into the garage, through the service door and into the living area.

“They made it about 10 feet inside the structure, but they encountered a lot of heat,” McColl told Twin Cities Fire Wire. They continued flowing water, but “then they felt the high heat behind them.” The crew exited the structure and prepared to go defensive.

“Right after they left, the ceiling collapsed where the crew was working,” according to McColl.

“This was a close call for us…This is a classic example of when training pays dividends.”

McColl said the flames coming from the window got into the soffit and spread into the attic of the home.

Crews provided a supply line from Savage Engine 11 into Savage Ladder 81 to apply the master stream from the bucket of the aerial platform. Prior Lake Ladder 1 was positioned on the C-side to protect the exposure units and handlines were placed around the structure to control the fire.

Units from Shakopee were also called to the scene due to the cold weather. “We knew we would have to rotate crews, so we wanted to have extra help on the scene.”

The fire was under control in about 45 minutes.

The three adjacent units suffered extensive water damage and smoke damage to the attic.

Crews stayed on the scene with the State Fire Marshal’s Office to investigate the cause of the fire.

Blaze Destroys Fridley Car Wash

December 20, 2010 1 comment

Fire destroyed an attached car wash bay at an automotive repair shop in Fridley on Sunday night.

Units from Fridley were dispatched to Amstar Autocare at 7680 Highway 65 at 6:33 p.m. Fridley Lieutenant 1, riding on Engine 3, reported heavy smoke in the distance.

Engine 3 arrived “to find fire showing from both ends of the car wash bay,” Fridley Fire Chief John Berg. Engine 3 laid a supply line to the fire building and used their deck gun to douse the heavy volume of fire showing.

Mutual aid was called from Spring Lake Park-Blaine-Mounds View Fire Department.

The single-bay car wash, approximately 20-by-60 feet featured a flat roof with wood joists. The wash area was an addition to the five-bay automotive repair garage and was separated by a firewall.

Additional handlines were deployed into the garage and to the fire area to knock down hot spots.

As additional companies arrived they entered the repair shop to check for extension. “We sent crews to check the garage area. There was a peak roof over the garage and we were concerned about that space,” Berg said. No fire extension was found.

A partial collapse brought down one side of the structure. At 7:23 p.m. the fire fire was declared under control.

According to Berg, a backhoe from the city was called to pull down the contents that posed danger to others when the firefighters left. The last Fridley unit cleared the scene at 10:41 p.m.

Columbia Heights Aerial 15 was called to cover the City of Fridley and the State Fire Marshal’s Office will investigate the cause of the fire.

  • Assignment: Fridley Engines 1, 2 and 3, Aerial 2, Rescue 1, 2, and 3, Spring Lake Park-Blaine-Mounds View Engine 1, Aerial 12 and Air/Utility Trailer 16.

Fatal Early-morning House Fire in Maple Grove

December 6, 2010 Leave a comment

The Maple Grove house fire that we reported earlier this morning has turned deadly. Crews spent hours combing the debris before finding the body of the home’s sole occupants.

At 3:50 a.m., Maple Grove Stations 2 and 3 were dispatched to a report of a structure fire in the 9700 block of Union Terrace Lane.  As units went enroute, they could see an orange glow and column of smoke. Stations 1 and 4 and mutual aid were received from Osseo and Anoka-Champlin.

Engine 31 went on scene at 3:58 a.m with fire showing from the two-story, split-level home. Captain 31 assumed command of the fire.

Maple Grove Chief 1, Scott Anderson, arrived at the same time. “The fire was coming from all windows on all sides of the home,” Anderson told TwinCitiesFireWire.com.

Engine 31 secured a water supply from a nearby hydrant and deployed their deck gun. The crew deployed a portable Blitz Fire master stream to the front of the home.

“We would never have been able to make an interior attack,” said Anderson. “Much of the home had already collapsed.”

Second arriving Engine 21 secured a secondary water supply and positioned their apparatus to use the deck gun to knock down the heavy fire conditions.

“After eight minutes, the fire was knocked down,” Anderson said.

They deployed hoselines to knock down the pockets of fire that remained in the smoke shell of the home.

“We were pretty sure that someone was inside the house and couldn’t make it out,” Anderson said. “There was two cars in the driveway and nobody met us when we arrived.”

Firefighters remained on scene for hours to douse hot spots and help search the rubble for any victims. A backhoe was used to lift the heavy debris.

Around 11:30, crews found the body of the occupant and investigators moved in. The Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s office and Maple Grove police are investigaing the fire.

Anderson said “It’ll take a few days to nail down the cause of the fire.”

  • Assignment: Maple Grove Engines 21, 31, Ladders 21 and 31, Tower 41, Rescue 41, Air Unit, Chiefs 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, Osseo Tanker 11, Anoka-Champlin: one engine and one ladder, North Memorial ambulance

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State Fire Marshal’s Office: Good Food Can be Costly

November 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Fires over the 2009 Thanksgiving weekend caused an estimated $1.3 million in property damage in Minnesota.

A press release issued by the Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s (SFM) Office on Monday reported that 82 fires occurred over last year’s four-day holiday weekend. Cooking related fires represent the leading cause of residential fires in Minnesota.

“I only left the room for a minute,” most occupants say, according to Deputy State Fire Marshal Becki White, who heads the public education section. “It’s hard to believe how quickly a frying pan can overheat, or how easily a carelessly placed towel can ignite.”

The SFM recommends that fire departments share the following tips with it’s residents:

  • Never leave cooking unattended, even for a moment.
  • Arrange for someone to be in the kitchen whenever food is cooking.
  • Watch hot skillets; clean stove hoods and stovetops. Grease and oil catch fire easily.
  • Keep towels, food packaging and clothing away from burners.
  • Keep children at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Smother stovetop fires with a pan lid. Contain oven fires by closing the door tightly.

“Holiday cooking is complicated by guests and lots of activity,” White says, “but following these rules is not difficult, and it can prevent destruction and injuries.”

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