Minnesota News

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Minnesota lawmakers hope to revive stalled push for sprinklers in old high-rises

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

Plymouth Council gets virtual tour of fire station upgrades

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.
Hometown Source

‘Holidays and Heroes’ offered by Eden Prairie police, fire departments Dec. 5

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.”

Monday, November 30, 2020

Hibbing apartment unit badly damaged in fire

One of the apartment units in a Hibbing quadplex suffered "extensive damage" in a fire on Friday evening. The Northland FireWire reports the fire at the Greenhaven Apartment Complex was reported around 9:15 in one of the units in the 3100 Building on 6th Avenue East. The FireWire reports the blaze started as a grease fire which spread to the kitchen and living room area. On scene, Hibbing firefighters "quickly extinguished" the fire. The Keewatin, Chisholm, and Virginia fire departments were also dispatched.

Fire destroys RV, several tents at St. Paul homeless encampment

Several tents and an RV were destroyed by a fire at a St. Paul homeless encampment Monday morning. According to the St. Paul Fire Department, the initial call firefighters responded to was about a garage fire on Gilbert Avenue just off Interstate 94 around 5 a.m. When crews arrived they found an RV and several tents on fire at a homeless encampment near I-94 and Cretin Avenue North. The fire was extinguished quickly, but the fire department says the RV and the tents were destroyed. A man in his 50s was taken to the hospital for evaluation. Fire officials don't know if he was in the RV or in a tent. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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