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February 8, 2011

Fire destroys business in Thief River Falls

Filed under: Fire — Breaking News @ 9:32 pm

Associated Press

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. — Fire crews had to battle subzero temperatures as they fought a blaze that destroyed the Nelson Services building in northwest Minnesota.

Temperatures were 17 below zero Tuesday as firefighters worked for hours to get the blaze under control.

Thief River Falls co-Fire Chief Jerry Stenseth tells WDAZ-TV that firefighters’ equipment was not working properly because of the frigid weather.

The business owner says one of his employees had to jump out of a second-story window to escape the burning building.

Firefighters from Thief River Falls got help from Goodridge, Warren and St. Hillaire fire departments.

Nelson Services does work for railroads. A damage estimate was not available, and the fire’s cause is under investigation.

February 2, 2011

Damage from Albert Lea school arson assessed

Filed under: Crime, Fire — Breaking News @ 6:58 pm

ALBERT LEA — Costs of damage to Lakeview Elementary from a recent incident of arson have been assessed at $70,000.

The fire was started in a classroom. The sprinkler system doused the flames.

February 1, 2011

Fire reported in Eyota

Filed under: Fire — Breaking News @ 8:27 pm

Firefighters were called to the Eyota Veterinary Clinic at about 7:20 p.m. Tuesday.

Dover and Eyota fire departments fought an active fire for more than an hour. By 8:20 p.m., the gutted building was still smoking, but no flames could be seen.

Frank Urban, who lives across the street from the clinic, said he heard the fire call on a radio scanner in his home. When he looked out the window, he could see smoke rolling from the clinic. About five minutes later, flames were shooting out the front of the building.

The business is owned by Dr. Wayne Ode, according to the clinic’s website.

Urban said the clinic oftentimes houses pets, but he didn’t know if any animals were in the building at the time of the fire.

January 28, 2011

Fire reported at SE Rochester building

Filed under: Fire, Public Safety — Breaking News @ 1:13 pm

Rochester firefighters are at the scene of a fire in a cardboard baler.

The fire was reported at  515 Third Ave. S.E. at about 12:10 p.m.

Firefighters have entered the building and doused the fire, but report that it’s still smoldering in the sheets of cardboard.

January 23, 2011

One hurt in Claremont house fire

Filed under: Fire — Breaking News @ 10:09 pm

One person was transported to Saint Marys Hospital on Sunday after a house fire on Dodge County Road 5, southeast of Claremont.

The fire was reported at about 6:40 p.m, and firefighters from the Claremont, Dodge Center and Hayfield fire departments responded. Gold Cross Ambulance and Mayo One were called to the scene.

The injured person suffered burns from the fire and lacerations from a window he broke in order to escape. The name of the man and the extent of his injuries were not released.

Look for more on the fire in Monday’s print edition.

Fire breaks out at Hennepin County building

Filed under: Fire — Breaking News @ 2:39 pm

Associated Press

MAPLE GROVE — A fire broke out at the Hennepin County Law Enforcement Training Facility in Maple Grove.

The Star Tribune reports crews were battling the blaze Saturday afternoon and working against thick, dark smoke that was pouring from the building.

Fire crews were using a thermal imaging device to determine the fire’s source.

No one was injured or trapped inside.

January 20, 2011

Fire prompts evacuation of part of Mystic Lake

Filed under: Fire — Breaking News @ 1:00 pm

Associated Press

PRIOR LAKE, Minn. — A fire sparked by a construction worker prompted an evacuation of part of Mystic Lake Casino Hotel.

There were no injuries when the fire started about 9:30 a.m. Thursday in an area of the casino that’s being remodeled.

Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Tribal Administrator Bill Rudnicki says the area was already off limits to customers due to the construction. But customers in nearby areas were moved to another part of the casino.

Mystic Lake Casino spokesman Bryan Prettyman says several hundred people were evacuated from about half of the casino’s gaming area. The rest of the facility is operating as normal.

January 19, 2011

Ex-firefighter enters plea in Carlos Avery fire

Filed under: Crime, Fire — Breaking News @ 9:27 pm

Associated Press

ANOKA, Minn. — A former Forest Lake volunteer firefighter faces sentencing in March for a 2009 fire that burned about 1,500 acres in and around the Carlos Avery Wildlife Refuge.

His attorney says John David Berken entered an Alford plea. That means a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges the prosecution has enough evidence to convict.

Prosecutors say Berken will be sentenced to up to 120 days in jail and be on probation for up to three years. He also will have to pay restitution for the cost of putting out the fire.

The complaint says witnesses saw a man appearing to set the fire by shooting fireworks out of his passenger window into a ditch.

Berken was arrested while fighting the fire. His attorney, Marsh Halberg, tells WCCO-TV that Berken still adamantly denies that he set the fire.

January 18, 2011

Fire damages Mapleview home

Filed under: Fire — Breaking News @ 9:51 pm

A basement fire filled a Mapleview home with smoke Tuesday afternoon, and though the residents escaped without injury, four of the family’s pets perished.

The fire was reported at 5:45 p.m. in the home of Gene Stehlik at 213 Clinton St. in Mapleview, which is just north of Austin. The home is directly across the street from the Mapleview fire station, city hall and community center. The fire chief lives two blocks away.

Five firefighters from Mapleview  fought the fire, assisted by about 10 members of the Austin Fire Department. A neighboring house was evacuated as a precaution.

Stehlik said his granddaughter, daughter-in-law and youngest son fled the blaze. Seven family and extended family members live in the home.

January 16, 2011

Maple Grove garage fire destroys 2 school buses

Filed under: Fire — Breaking News @ 6:19 pm

Associated Press

MAPLE GROVE — A fire in a Maple Grove school bus garage has destroyed two buses and damaged several others.

A worker at the Osseo-Brooklyn School Bus Company discovered the fire around 7 a.m. Sunday.

Maple Grove Fire Chief Scott Anderson says about 60 to 80 school buses were stored there. Since the buses are parked in several rows, firefighters had to use thermal imaging to find the fire. He says the fire had spread to a second bus before the sprinkler system activated and stopped the blaze.

The fire chief says the cause appears to be a malfunction in the equipment used to heat one of the buses.

The bus company says it expects to be running all its routes Tuesday when school resumes after the Martin Luther King Holiday.

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