Minnesota News

Friday, June 14, 2019

Minneapolis hotel evacuated after fire

A boutique hotel and restaurant in downtown Minneapolis was evacuated Thursday morning after the building started on fire. Crews were dispatched to the Canopy Hotel at 708 3rd Street South around 8:15 a.m. after callers reported smoke and a suspected fire. Responding firefighters found smoke and eventually flames in the space between the first floor of the hotel and the basement. Crews had to open up the basement ceiling to get to the flames, which caused officials on scene to declare a second alarm. The fire was considered under control around 9 a.m. While an official cause has not been determined, a fire official on scene tells KARE 11 that there has been some construction work on the site, and heat generated busting through concrete may have heated up the wooden timbers enough that a smoldering fire started. The hotel-restaurant was evacuated during the fire. No one was injured.

Meet Apple Valley’s new deputy fire chief

Matt Nelson originally planned to pursue a career in computer programming after high school. Those plans took a large turn when he decided to check out a Fire Explorer Program in 2004, which is sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America, after graduating from Eastview High School in Apple Valley in 2002. “I was 18 or 19; I joined that for about a year. I decided this was something I wanted to do,” Nelson recalled. Fast forward to 2019, and Nelson is now the second in command at the Apple Valley Fire Department. The Apple Valley City Council approved hiring Nelson as the next deputy fire chief on May 9, and he started the position on May 14. He filled a vacancy left by Chuck Russell when he was promoted to fire chief in March. “I’m very happy the city had enough confidence in me to promote me to that position. I’ve had nothing but great compliments or words of encouragement from the firefighters that they’re happy I was given the position, or that I was a good fit,” he said.

Fire danger remains relatively high for June

June is typically one of northern Minnesota’s wettest month, but that hasn’t proven to be the case so far this year— and that has helped elevate fire danger across virtually all of northern Minnesota. Indeed, high winds and warm temperatures this past weekend prompted the National Weather Service to issue a critical fire danger advisory on June 8. No serious fires were reported over the weekend, although fire crews did extinguish an eight-acre wildfire near Gunsten Lake, located about two miles northeast of the junction of Hwy. 1 and Hwy. 2, in Lake County. That fire was reported by aerial reconnaissance. Spring fire danger typically all but vanishes once the fields and forests green up in the North Country, but the lack of normal rainfall has kept fire dangers elevated well into June this year.
Tower Timberjay

Tunnel to Towers 5K coming to Apple Valley

A race started in New York in honor of a firefighter who died responding to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks is coming to Apple Valley. The first Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk Twin Cities is set for 9 a.m. Saturday, June 29, at Apple Valley High School, 14450 Hayes Road in Apple Valley. The proceeds benefit the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, a nonprofit that builds mortgage-free smart homes for catastrophically injured military service members; supports families of fallen law enforcement, firefighters and emergency workers and provides mortgage-free homes to surviving spouses of fallen military members with children. The nonprofit also has a mission to honor “the sacrifice of firefighter Stephen Siller who laid down his life to save others on September 11, 2001,” according to its website. The first Tunnel to Towers 5K was started in 2002 in New York with 1,500 people. Now, over 50 Tunnel to Towers races and tower climbs are held around the country.

Multiple Agencies Respond to Garage Fire in Albert Lea

On Thursday, just after 11 p.m., authorities were dispatched to the 71000 block of County Road 46 for a light on in a garage at an unoccupied house, according to the Freeborn County Sheriff's Office. However, when authorities arrived on scene, they found the attached garage on fire. According to the Freeborn County Sheriff's Office, an initial investigation shows that the house was unoccupied and there was no gas or electrical service running to the house. The cause is still under investigation, with assistance from the Minnesota State Fire Marshal's Office. Conger, Alden, Manchester, Clarks Grove and Albert Lea Fire Departments as well as Mayo Clinic Ambulance assisted on scene.
KAAL-TV ABC 6 Austin

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Rochester Fire Department Practices "Confined Spaces" Rescue Missions

Firefighters endure extensive training before ever becoming a first responder. Everything from physical fitness to vision determines who makes the cut, and who doesn't cut it, just yet. But even after passing the original training qualifications, the work doesn't stop there. "It's actually one of the last days of a multi-day training. Everyone in the entire department, at least 100 of us, are going through this training," said Capt. David Worstman with the Rochester Fire Department. Confined spaces are something that Worstman says aren't an everyday call at the station, but like most high-pressure situations, it's better to stay ready. Crews of three and four men alternated through a multi-level warehouse and reenacted potential scenarios involving a patient stuck in a tight space.
KAAL-TV ABC 6 Austin

Group Home Among Buildings Damaged In New Hope Fire

A fire did extensive damage to two houses Wednesday morning and left residents of a group home without a place to live. It started just before noon on the 2700 block of Ensign Avenue in New Hope. The cloud of smoke could be seen for miles around. It was so heavy that when the wind shifted, visibility became limited. “The fire quickly jumped from one house to another. It started in a group home and then within minutes, it spread to the house next door,” West Metro Fire Chief Sarah Larson said. “We had to attack them defensively. So we had to put them out from the outside.”

Three Treated After Duluth Apartment Fire

The Duluth Fire Department was called for a kitchen fire at 2510 West 2nd Street on Wednesday night. Smoke was seen coming from an upstairs apartment window when crews arrived. After confirming all the residents were outside, the fire in the stove area of the kitchen was contained and extinguished. The resident of the apartment where the fire began was taken to Essentia hospital with unknown injuries and two others were treated at the scene and released. Assistant Fire Chief Brent Consie says smoke detectors were sounding and appeared to alert the building's occupants to evacuate. Damage estimates were set at 7 thousand dollars and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
KDAL-AM 610 Duluth

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