Minnesota News

Friday, February 22, 2019

Rochester Firefighters Train to Fight Chemical Spills

The Rochester Fire Department can’t be too careful when it comes to chemicals. That’s why this month, the entire department is going through hazardous materials training, focusing on chlorine and ammonia leaks. "There are very large quantities of both chlorine and ammonia in the city and around the southeastern part of the state which we cover as part of our Hazmat response," said Captain Brett Knapp. He said that in town, ammonia can be found at large food processing plants, and it’s often transported in trucks to be used as fertilizer in the springtime. "Ammonia and chlorine are also used as industrial disinfectants as well," said Knapp. He added that the frequency of these types of leaks is very low given the number of materials in town. However, the possibility of danger still exists. "When it comes to vehicle crashes and other types of leaks and just accidental mishaps from time to time—that's when the product can get out and cause a big problem,” he said.
KAAL-TV ABC 6 Austin

Pine Island Fire responds to second car fire in four days

Pine Island firefighters were called to a second car fire in four days on the same stretch of U.S. Highway 52 Thursday. At about 12:45 p.m., fire trucks were dispatched to the 9700 block of Highway 52 in Oronoco Township. On arrival, firefighters found a Toyota Camry with a fire under the hood and inside the passenger area. Crews were able to knock the flames down shortly after arrival. Property was saved inside the trunk of the car. A damage estimate was not available, and the cause of the fire is under investigation. Minnesota State Patrol and the Minnesota Department of Transportation assisted at the scene.

Duluth Firefighters Respond To Kitchi Gammi Club

Duluth firefighters responded to the historic Kitchi Gammi Club in Duluth Thursday night. Thick smoke could be seen coming out of the top of the building on 831 East Superior Street. No flames were visible when a FOX 21 photographer was on scene at 9 p.m. before the fire crews wrapped up to leave the scene. As of 11:30 p.m., fire officials had not sent out a press release with further details.
KQDS-TV Fox 21

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Minneapolis: Emergency crews fear snow-tightened city streets will make fire, EMT response difficult

In a job where seconds and minutes matter, road conditions can make all the difference for emergency personnel. “The time factor is really a big issue,” said Wes VanVickle, of the Minneapolis Fire Department. At Fire Station 6 in Minneapolis, crews went out Wednesday morning to take inventory of all the side streets and the prognosis wasn’t good. “It’s nerve-wracking for our drivers to be driving and your mirrors are going over the tops of cars and you have like 6 inches on each side of you,” VanVickle said. In cities like Minneapolis, where street parking is common, the snow pack has pushed cars closer and closer to the center, giving very little clearance to large fire trucks. “There are streets in the city right now that we can’t go down because it’s too tight,” he added. VanVickle said they’ve had calls this winter where they’ve had to park on the corner and stretch their hose 200 to 300 feet because they can’t get to the front of the house.
KMSP-TV My Fox 9 Twin Cities

Longtime Rochester Fire Department captain terminated

A rare action at Rochester City Hall Tuesday, something that hasn’t happened in at least 20 years, if not longer. A senior member of the City Fire Department was fired. The city Fire Civil Service Commission accepted a recommendation from Chief Eric Kerska to terminate a longtime captain. The decision came after the commission read and heard Kerska’s reasons to terminate Capt. Brennan Kelly, who has has been with the department for 26 years and a captain for more than 10 years. Tuesday’s hearing centered on an emergency medical call last October involving an 11-year-old girl who was in urgent need of critical care. Kelly was accused of confronting a Gold Cross medic twice at the scene and that led to an investigation. It found Kelly’s " inappropriate comments and unprofessional behavior" amounted to an interference with the girl’s treatment.

Grand Marais Woman, Pets Evacuated Following Garage Fire

A Grand Marais woman and her pets were safely evacuated Wednesday following a garage fire. The Grand Marais Fire Department and Cook County Sheriff's Office responded the structure fire around 2:42 p.m. on 3rd Street. Crews arrived to a garage fully engulfed in flames. Authorities say the fire was threatening a house and vehicle nearby. Firefighters were able to evacuate the female homeowner and her three pets. No injuries were reported. 3rd Street and 1st Avenue West were blocked off as firefighters battled the fire. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Forklift Deemed Total Loss After Fire at an Albert Lea manufacturer

A fire at an Albert Lea manufacturer Wednesday caused an estimated $20,000 in damage and left a forklift destroyed, the fire department said. When firefighters arrived at Alamco Wood Products shortly after 10 a.m. Wednesday, they found a propane forklift fully involved with fire and propane blowing. The forklift was inside a sawdust building where manufacturing dust is collected. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire using a dry chemical and firefighting foam, the department said. The forklift operator was able to safely get off the machine and call 911. No injuries were reported. The building was not damaged but the forklift was deemed a total loss.
KAAL-TV ABC 6 Austin

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