Minnesota lawmakers in St. Paul and Washington, D.C., say they want to revive a push to retrofit high-rise buildings with sprinklers after their last effort was stalled by the pandemic.
One year after the fatal fire at the Cedar High Apartments in Minneapolis, an investigation by state fire officials shows that sprinklers and other safety features could have saved lives. Built before modern fire safety codes, the 50-year-old building lacked a full sprinkler system.
In the weeks following the fire, state Rep. Mohamud Noor, DFL-Minneapolis, unveiled a bill that would have required property owners to add sprinklers to most high-rise buildings by 2032.
“I think that bill had momentum. It was moving,” said Tom Brace, a former state fire marshal who now heads the Minnesota chapter of the National Fire Sprinkler Association.
When the coronavirus pandemic arrived in Minnesota, “the issue overwhelmed sprinklers,” he said.
Star Tribune - Metered Site
The Plymouth City Council took a virtual walk-through of what fire stations 2 and 3 will look like once construction is completed in the summer of 2022.
Deputy Fire Chief Dave Dreelan provided the tour and outlined the next steps in the process during the council meeting Nov. 24.
Plans for the two stations began after a feasibility study in 2019 determined operational deficiencies and necessary upgrades to accommodate a full-time 24/7 staffing model.
At Fire Station 2, 12000 Old Rockford Rd., the existing 43-year-old building will be demolished and replaced with a new two-story fire station to provide adequate space for current functions as well as future growth.
The station will house offices for the administrative staff and firefighters, meeting spaces for department and public use, an indoor fitness area, quiet and relaxing residential spaces conducive to firefighters’ mental health, appropriate bay space to house all of the apparatus and equipment and interior and exterior training features allowing firefighters to train for certification on-site, according to CNH Architects.
The Eden Prairie police and fire departments are collaborating on a new program, “Holidays and Heroes.”
Previously held by the police department as “Shop with a Cop,” Police Chief Greg Weber and Fire Chief Scott Gerber announced the new program would include handing out gift cards.
Weber and Gerber will hand out gift cards at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 5, to children participating in Holiday with Heroes.
The event is being sponsored by the Eden Prairie Crime Prevention Fund and the fund’s president, Lisa Toomey, said, “We are including the fire department in the outreach program moving forward and so have changed the name to ‘Holiday with Heroes.’”
“Usually a child gets to shop and have lunch with the officers, but this year is different because of the pandemic,” Toomey said. “We still wanted to do something, and having the chiefs hand out gift cards is the safest way.”