VIDEO: Living close to a fire station has some perks, especially when your home is struck by lightning and burning. A St. Paul, Minnesota man wasted no time the other night when he ran to the fire department for help when he couldn’t call 911.
As storms rolled in over St. Paul early Tuesday morning, firefighters at Station 14 heard some loud thunder and lightning overhead. “Usually when you hear a loud crack so close, you know either it’s going to set off someone’s alarm and it’s going to be nothing or it’s going to strike somebody’s house and there’s going to be a fire,” explained Captain John Waldron.
About 15 minutes later, the doorbell was going off. “The gentleman was at the door pretty excited, out of breath—just ran from his house," recalled Fire Equipment Operator Jeremy Barta. "[He] said he had a bunch of smoke in his house.”
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Faribault police are investigating a Tuesday evening fire they consider suspicious.
The fire was reported just before 5 p.m. at the city’s PetSmart in the Faribo West Mall on Western Avenue. When police arrived, customers and store employees were evacuating the building and light smoke could be seen in the back of the business, according to a release from Fire Chief Dustin Dienst. Police officers entered the building, located the fire, evacuated the store’s animals and updated firefighters as they arrived on scene. Firefighters located the fire was located in a bathroom which had been extinguished by the store’s sprinkler system. The sprinkler system was then shut down and firefighters used squeegees to clean up the water on the floor by pushing it down a drain.
Following an on-scene investigation, police determined the fire’s origin was suspicious, and contacted the State Fire Marshal’s office.
The Sleepy Eye Fire Department brought awareness and education to the community during Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 6 to 12, including their always popular, every other year, Fire Station Open House on Wednesday evening, Oct. 9
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