Friday, July 6, 2012
Fire possibly started in attic.
At 8:04 a.m. on Thursday, right around breakfast-time, one Windom family received a horrible surprise—their home was on fire. According to the Minneapolis Fire Department, the family quickly evacuated their house after calling 911. While their Northside peers battled two fires in the same house , Southwest Minneapolis crews responded to the fire on the 5500 block of Pillsbury Avenue South. By the time they arrived, the fire was spreading in the attic of the one-and-a-half story house. Firefighters were able to contain the blaze to the attic, with minimal damage to the rest of the house (A fire station also happens to be right around the corner ). The Fire Department's spokesperson said that no residents or firefighters were injured in …
Monday, June 4, 2012
Layoffs of the six sparked worry that Southwest would not get adequate emergency coverage.
Six firefighters whose layoffs in 2011 had City Councilmembers seemingly on the edge of tears during public meetings are coming back, after all. Friday afternoon, a city spokesperson announced that the Minneapolis Fire Department had won a federal grant enabling it to re-hire six firefighters who lost their jobs during emergency budget cuts in summer 2011. With the return of the six, fire crews will no longer have poach crew from important supply trucks to pinch-hit for sick co-workers on pumpers and ladder trucks. The six originally lost their jobs at the end of last year, during the dramatic fallout from mid-year state budget cuts. Their wages for the next two years will now be paid through a federal Staffing for Adequate Fire and …
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Kathrynne and Paul Baumtrog serve on separate engine crews, but both responded to Walker Methodist Fire.
Their neighbors in the Kenny neighborhood probably new it already, but Sunday's church fire surely cemented beliefs that their neighbors, Minneapolis Fire Department Capts. Kathrynne and Paul Baumtrog, were among the bravest in the city. Both were injured alongside three of their colleagues after charging into a burning church in the Powderhorn neighborhood Sunday night. According to the Star-Tribune, Kathrynne was hit with a searing jet of flame called a flashover, which left her with burns on both arms and part of her face. She is currently recovering at HCMC. Paul suffered burns to his hands. Paul and his crew of firefighters rushed back into the room where Kathrynne was, injured and disoriented. Amid the flame, they rescued her, and …
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Fire strikes the Lyndale neighborhood.
One person is dead, one injured, and a total of four people are without a home today after fire swept through a rented house at the corner of 35th Street and Harriet Avenue early yesterday morning. Minneapolis fire crews responded to a passerby's call at 6 a.m. to find fire engulfing the front porch of the three-story house, said Assistant Fire Chief Cherie Penn. After getting the porch fire under control, Penn said in a statement that firefighters discovered that while most of the fire was contained in the first floor, fire had also spread up the front wall into the second and third floors. While rooting out these flames and evacuating residents, Penn said, firefighters discovered the body of a resident, who was pronounced dead at the …
Sunday, March 11, 2012
A "very high" fire danger rating means fires start very easily and spread at a very fast rate.
Don't let all that melting snow fool you, says the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources A mixture of strong winds, dry land and warmer-than-average temperatures have central and southern Minnesota—including Southwest Minneapolis and Hennepin County—in a "very high" fire danger rating, according to the DNR A "very high" fire danger means: Fires start very easily and spread at a very fast rate. Fires start easily from all causes, spread rapidly and intensify quickly. Spot fires are a constant danger. Fires burning in heavy fuels may quickly develop high-intensity characteristics, such as long-distance spotting and fire whirlwinds. Direct attack at the head of such fires is rarely possible after they have been burning more than a few …
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Chemical accident at water treatment plant raised fears.
A chemical accident at the City of Minneapolis Water Works in Columbia Heights yesterday afternoon, causing staff members to evacuate the building, but city tap water is safe to drink according to a city spokesperson. The accident, which sent Minneapolis, Fridley and Columbia Heights fire department personnel racing to the scene in silver HAZMAT suits, did not at any time risk contamination of the water supply, he said in a written statement. No injuries were reported among treatment plat staff or first responders. According to the Star-Tribune, crews accidentally mixed chemicals used to clean the filtration systems: 6,000 gallons of hydrochloric acid and 500 gallons ofcaustic soda, also known as lye. The two react, producing sodium …
Monday, January 30, 2012
Car caught fire Saturday morning.
The new Minneapolis Fire Chief may say he'll be struggling with low morale at the department when he walks onto the job, but that didn't stop firefighters from dousing a garage fire one day after the City Council confirmed his appointment. A car in a garage on the 5500 block of Vincent Ave. South caught fire late Saturday morning. While such fires can easily spread to other garages and homes, Twin Cities Fire Wire reports that fire crews got the blaze under control in 10 minutes.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Several units responded.
A home on the 4200 block of Pleasant Avenue South got a visit from the Minneapolis Fire Department late Thursday morning—specifically, two pumper trucks, two ladder trucks, two fire chief vehicles and an ambulance from Hennepin County Medical Center. "A chimney fire, that's all it was," a fire official at the scene said. "We came in and used chimney weights to clean out the chimney and carry the debris out."
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Chief Alex Jackson has been criticized for handling of overtime pay.
Minneapolis Fire Department Chief Alex Jackson is retiring at the end of February. Earlier this year, Jackson faced sharp criticism from several city councilmembers over allegations that his firefighters were using sick leave to pad their weekends and for the $1 million in overtime pay he used to close the gap in the department's budget. Jackson also faced criticism for plans to deal with the overtime issue by taking fire trucks offline in low-demand areas, including Southwest Minneapolis. Jackson had argued the department dipped into overtime because of firefighter layoffs in the wake of state aid cuts. Jackson later modified his plans to first shut down the department's supply vehicles if enough firefighters call in sick. Jackson was the…
Thursday, December 1, 2011
City Council suggests firefighters are using sick time for long weekends.
Minneapolis Fire Chief Alex Jackson came under attack once again at a city council meeting Wednesday for his firefighters' use of sick time. The costs have driven the department over its overtime budget which, combined with some firefighter layoffs caused by a reduction in state aid, have put the department in a real pickle. A Star-Tribune report said Chief Jackson refused to answer interview questions on Wednesday about whether he thinks this amounts to an abuse of overtime. He said a firefighter missing more than six sick days per year are required to present a note from a doctor. Large cuts to firefighting staff, he added, have made it hard to replace the missing firefighters without using overtime. "Could some people be abusing it? …