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The Twin Cities Fire Service in the News – June 25

June 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Eagan’s New Safety Center/Fire Station In The News

The new fire safety center/Station 2 received a ton of news coverage this week when it had a grand opening and dedication. The $8.1 million building combined two fire stations into one, has several training features and is features green construction. Find more coverage here: Eagan Patch, Pioneer Press, This Week Newspapers

Final Interview With Richfield Chief Sveum

Richfield Fire Chief Brad Sveum talks with Richfield Patch’s Caitlin Burgess about 38 years in the fire service. Sveum, who retires this month, reflects on 29 year in Richfield and shares his most memorable moments. Read the interview here.

Brooklyn Center Receives Grant for Thermal Imager

The Brooklyn Center Fire Department has a new thermal imaging camera after receiving a $9,800 grant from the Firemen’s Fund Insurance Company. According to the Minnesota Sun Newspapers, the department’s current cameras are 15 and 17 years old. You can read the full story here.

Photographer Documents Live Burn in Lakeville

Lakeville Patch’s Paige Andrews photographed the fire department as they participated in a recent live fire training exercise at the ABLE joint training center in Burnsville. Check out the photos here.

There’s a New Fire Marshal in Town: Mendota Heights

Veteran firefighter Jim Lee was recently appointed fire marshal in Mendota Heights. According to the Mendota Heights Patch, Lee was a firefighter in West St. Paul and is now responsible for enforcing fire codes and conducting building inspections. Read the story here.

Fridley Police Beat Fire in Softball Matchup

The Fridley Police Department defeated the fire department with a 12-5 win in Friday night’s ’49er Days softball game. Fridley Patch reports that this was the first time the teams played each other in more than 20 years. Read the story and see the photos here.

Golden Valley Recruitment Drive

More than 20 people attended the first of three recruitment drives for the Golden Valley Fire Department. Check out Golden Valley Patch’s story and photos here.

St. Louis Park Fire Station Demolished

Construction crews demolished 40-year-old St. Louis Park Fire Station 1 recently. A video from St. Louis Park Patch shows the work underway and the website reports that it’s the first step in the construction of a new $15.5 million fire station.

Boy Scouts Learn About Fire from Stillwater Firefighters

Stillwater Patch covered an event where boy scouts were given a. Click here to see the photos.

See something that we’ve missed? Send an e-mail to TwinCitiesFireWire@yahoo.com and we’ll look into it.

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St. Louis Park Fire Reaches 5 Alarms, Firefighter Injured

St. Louis Park, Minnesota, Firefighter, Condominium Fire, Apartment Fire, Minnetonka Fire, Minneapolis Fire, Firefighter, Five Alarm Fire, Twin Cities Fire Wire

Josh Grubb Photo

St. Louis Park, Minnesota, Firefighter, Condominium Fire, Apartment Fire, Minnetonka Fire, Minneapolis Fire, Firefighter, Five Alarm Fire, Twin Cities Fire Wire

Josh Grubb Photo

St. Louis Park, Minnesota, Firefighter, Condominium Fire, Apartment Fire, Minnetonka Fire, Minneapolis Fire, Firefighter, Five Alarm Fire, Twin Cities Fire Wire

Josh Grubb Photo

St. Louis Park, Minnesota, Firefighter, Condominium Fire, Apartment Fire, Richfield Fire, Eden Prarie Fire, Edina Firefighter,, Twin Cities Fire Wire

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St. Louis Park, Minnesota, Firefighter, Condominium Fire, Apartment Fire, Richfield Fire, Eden Prarie Fire, Edina Firefighter,, Twin Cities Fire Wire

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St. Louis Park, Minnesota, Firefighter, Condominium Fire, Apartment Fire, Richfield Fire, Eden Prarie Fire, Edina Firefighter,, Twin Cities Fire Wire

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St. Louis Park, Minnesota, Firefighter, Condominium Fire, Apartment Fire, Richfield Fire, Eden Prarie Fire, Edina Firefighter,, Twin Cities Fire Wire

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St. Louis Park, Minnesota, Firefighter, Condominium Fire, Apartment Fire, Richfield Fire, Eden Prarie Fire, Edina Firefighter,, Twin Cities Fire Wire

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St. Louis Park, Minnesota, Firefighter, Condominium Fire, Apartment Fire, Richfield Fire, Eden Prarie Fire, Edina Firefighter,, Twin Cities Fire Wire

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The story as updated Wednesday morning

June 7 – More than a dozen fire departments were called to condominium complex fire in St. Louis Park on Tuesday, just as temperatures broke historic records.

The fire was reported at 4625 Minnetonka Blvd. around 3:30 p.m. and it brought auto aid from Edina and Richfield.

Firefighters found flames showing from the second floor of the three-story Nachez Place condominium complex. The fire extended from the second floor to the top floor before crews contained the fire.

St. Louis Park Spokesman Jamie Zwilling said that two units received extensive damage. One-third of the building had smoke damage.

The fire was under control in 30 minutes.

The fire quickly escalated to five alarms, bring about 15 departments and more than 75 firefighters.

“It reached five alarms because of the excess heat,” said Zwilling. About the time of the fire, the mercury hit reached 102 degrees.

A Golden Valley firefighter was transported to the hospital suffering from heat-related injuries, according to Zwilling.

Hennepin EMS Spokesman Christopher Kummer said they dispatched three ambulances and three supervisors to assist evaluate residents and monitor firefighters.

The following departments responded: Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Eden Prairie, Edina, Golden Valley, Hopkins, MAC Fire, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Richfield, Robbindale and Wayzata.

Crews Find Hole in Floor While Battling Richfield House Fire

April 30 – Richfield firefighters found a large hole in the floor as they searched for the seat of the fire at a house fire late on Saturday night.

At 11:44 p.m. crews were dispatched to a 9-1-1 call reporting smoke from a building in the 6500 block of Portland Ave. S. Firefighters from Richfield, with automatic aid from Bloomington, the Metropolitan Airports Commission and Minneapolis were placed on the assignment.

Richfield Quint 1 and Rescue 1 arrived to heavy smoke from the second floor and chimney of the 1 1/2-story home. The home was unoccupied at the time.

Quint 1 assumed command and assigned Rescue 1’s crew to an interior attack from the A-side of the home. Richfield Engine 2 laid a supply line to Quint 1 and pulled a backup hoseline.

Rescue 1’s crew made entry. “Approximately five feet into the structure, they found a six-foot by six-foot hole in the living room floor,” according to Assistant Chief Wayne Kewitsch. The found danger was relayed to all units on the scene.

“Had they gone in gangbusters, they would have fallen through the floor and we would be discussing injured firefighters, not just a house fire,” Kewitsch old Twin Cities Fire Wire.

Minneapolis Chief 2 was assigned to the interior Minneapolis Engine 12 was assigned to primary searches of the first and second floors. Minneapolis Ladder 5 was assigned to search the basement.

MAC Engine 32 Richfield Engine 2 took the backup hoseline to the basement of the home.

Bloomington Chief 4 was assigned as safety officer. Bloomington Chief 7 established the on-deck group. Bloomington Ladder 3 was assigned to perform the secondary searches of the entire structure.

Minneapolis Ladder 5 and Bloomington Engine 1 teamed up to check for extension. Kewitsch said the crews performed extensive overhaul of the basement ceiling.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

  • Assignment: Richfield Quint 1, Engine 2, Rescue 1 and Chiefs 1 and 2. Auto-aid: Bloomington Engine 1, Ladder 3 and Chiefs 4 and 7, MAC Engine 32, Minneapolis Engine 12, Ladder 5 and Chief 2, Hennepin EMS

Woman Dies in Edina House Fire

April 18, 2011 1 comment

April 18 – One woman died in an early-morning house fire in Edina Monday.

Firefighters were called to 5300 block of Oaklawn Avenue around 5 a.m.

“Crews arrived within minutes to discover heavy smoke and flames from the north side of the home,” KSTP-TV reported.

The fire reached three alarms, bringing firefighters from Blooomington, Eden Prarie and Richfield to the scene for assistance.

KARE-TV reported that the fire was likely burning for over an hour before firefighter’s were called to the scene.

Four firefighters were treated at the scene for minor injuries, Hennepin EMS spokesman Christopher Kummer told Twin Cities Fire Wire.

Related:

Fire Officials Talk About Minneapolis Gas Explosion Response

March 17, 2011 Leave a comment

We want to update you on the actions of area firefighters after today’s explosion and fire in South Minneapolis.

Both Minneapolis and Richfield were called for a reported house explosion and fire at 62nd Street and Nicollet around 8:36 a.m. This KMSP-TV video shows the explosion.

As firefighters were enroute, it was determined that the incident was in Minneapolis, so Richfield Quint 1, Rescue 1 and Chief 1 continued to the scene based on their auto agreement.

Arriving Minneapolis firefighter cordoned off the area. “We began evacuating bystanders and residents,” Assistant Chief Cherie Penn said. A second alarm was called.

The 20-inch natural gas line was sending flames in excess of 100 feet into the air.

The initial perimeter was Portland to Harriet Avenues (East to West) and 54th Street to the Crosstown (North to South.)

In Minneapolis, Richfield Chief 1 assisted with the evacuation of the Cub Food store across the street from the explosion while Quint 1 helped residents along Nicollet Avenue evacuate their homes, according to Richfield Assistant Chief Wayne Kewitsch.

As manhole covers continued to explode on the south side of the incident, Kewitsch said they expanded the evacuations.

Richfield Chief 2, in coordination with the Richfield police, started evacuating to 66th Street. That area contained a number of residential structures and commercial businesses. Crews from Bloomington, Edina and Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) were called to assist on the Richfield side of the incident.

Penn said that the highest gas readings were found to be 80 parts per million.

As the gas was shut off, Penn said that Minneapolis reduced the number of resources on scene. The flames dissipated by 10:30 a.m.

Several vehicles near the fire were damaged and the sign on Cub Food melted from the intense heat.

By 11:05 a.m., residents were being allowed back in their homes surrounding the blast site.

“After being on scene for a little over two hours, only one fire crew was left on scene to assist Centerpoint Energy.”

“Even though I’m in Maryland at the National Fire Academy, I have been in close contact with command staff in Minneapolis as the incident unfolded this morning,” Minneapolis Fire Chief Alex Jackson said in a press release. He was attending an emergency operations training session, with other city staff members.

  • Assignment for Richfield Operations: Richfield Engine 2, Chief 2; Bloomington Engines 1 and 3, Ladder 3 and Chief 1; Edina Engine 81 and Chief 3; MAC Engine 31 and Chiefs 2 and 3

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Video & Photo: Massive Explosion and Fire Rocks South Minneapolis

March 17, 2011 1 comment
Minneapolis Gas Explosion, Minneapolis firefighters, South Minneapolis Fire

Matt Schlenk Photo

An explosion and fire rocked South Minneapolis at the end of rush hour on Thursday. The incident forced street closures, including the Crosstown and Interstate 35W.

The explosion, near Nicollet Avenue and 60th Street, happened just after 8:30 a.m. and the flames subsided about 90 minutes later.

Richfield, Bloomington and Edina crews worked with Minneapolis firefighters to evacuate residents as the flames grew more than 100 feet.

According to the Star Tribune, the incident happened near a CenterPoint Energy maintenance facility.

In several of the YouTube videos that we posted, you can hear the hissing sound from the explosion site. One video was taken 200 feet away and the noise is clear.

Minneapolis gas explosion, Minneapolis firefighter

Matthew Huston Photo

Minneapolis gas explosion

MNDOT Traffic Camera Photo

Chief Discusses Tactics Used at Bloomington Apartment Fire

February 23, 2011 3 comments

Bloomington fire officials talked with Twin Cities Fire Wire about tactics deployed during the major aparment fire earlier this month.

Units from Bloomington Stations 1, 2 and 3 were called to 9840 Nicolett Ave. South about 4:45 a.m. on Feb. 8 for  a reported apartment fire.

As fire units went enroute they were advised that police were on scene and reported several people trapped with rescues were in progress. Bloomington Assistant Chief Jay Forster  said that a second alarm was called at that time.

Engine 1 arrived and reported fire showing from the rear of the three-story, 11 unit building. The building featured center hallways with stairwells at either end.

Police officers started making rescues and, according to media reports, caught several children who were thrown from upper floor windows. Several resident’s jumped on their own.

According to Forster, it appears that the door from the fire apartment failed. The flames quickly spread to the upper floors through the stairwells. The building did not have fire doors because of the fire code when it was constructed.

Engine 1’s crew advanced the inital attack line to the first floor of the building and began rescue operations. The crew of Ladder 1 began throwing portable ladders to the residents who were trapped in their windows. 

Water supply to Engine 1 was secured by Engine 2, whose crew and then stretched a back up hoseline. A third alarm was called, bringing all six Bloomington stations to the scene.

“We had fire burning through the hallways of all three floor,” according to Forster. “Our crews made a real good attack and pushed the fire back.” He said at least five or six hoselines were placed into operation, with one being used on the exteior to knock down the heavy volume of fire in the rear.

“I think most residents, if not all of them, escaped from windows.” Forster said “We figure the fire department rescued about 10 residents over ladders from various windows.”

The fire was placed under control in about an hour, but crews remained on scene for several hours.

Richfield Rescue 1 was called to help fill SCBA bottles. Eden Prarie and Metropolitan Airports Commission crews covered Bloomington.

  • First Alarm: Engines 1, 2 and 3, Ladders 1, 2 and 3. Second Alarm Assignment: Engines 4 and 5 and Ladders 4 and 5. Third Alarm Assignment: Engine 6. Mutual Aid: Richfield Rescue 1