East Side Review fire blotter Apr. 24-30, 2013

During the week of April 24 thru April 30, the St. Paul Fire Department responded to 741 emergency calls. These are a few of the department’s emergency and non-emergency calls.

Mill fire - On April 24 at 11:31 a.m. on the 2200 block of Wabash Ave. workers using a cutting torch noticed flames above them where there was paper dust.  Flames then traveled from the basement to the main floor. The fire was then controlled by an automatic fire sprinkler and fire brigade until firefighters arrived. Damage is estimated at $5,000.

Garage fire - On April 28 at 1:13 p.m. on the 1300 block of 3rd St. E. fire crews extinguished a fire in a shed.  The occupant had burned cardboard in a fire pit that morning then left. Due to a windy day, the fire flared up and ignited storage items in a shed then spreading fire to the garage which then spread to a neighbor’s garage. It also damaged a retaining wall across the alley. Total estimated damage is $8,000.

Garage fire - On April 30 at 2:28 a.m. on the 1000 block of Burnquist Street fire crews were dispatched to two vehicle fires that were in the alley. Upon fire crews arrival, the fire had extended to the vinyl siding of a single car detached garage and then to the vinyl siding of a two car detached garage.  Damage is estimated at $13,300.

Recognition - On May 1, Saint Paul Fire Chief Tim Butler commended twenty-three employees of the Saint Paul Public Housing Agency (PHA) for their roles in completing a massive, two decades-long program for fitting all of the PHA’s sixteen high rise apartment buildings with fire sprinklers.
Fire sprinklers were not required in the PHA high rise buildings back when they were first built, but Executive Director Jon Gutzmann and his staff set out in 1991 to voluntarily fit all sixteen of their high rise apartment buildings with fire sprinklers to protect their residents – a task worthy of recognition by the Fire Chief.  The project took more than twenty years to complete because funding needed by the PHA withered during the recession.

- Recreational fires can be fun but dangerous, too.  The above fire was ILLEGAL, and therefore, damaging.
- Only sawn wood can be burned, not trash for disposal.
- The fire cannot be closer that 25 feet to a building or other combustibles.
- The fire size is limited to 3 feet wide and 2 feet high.
- Don’t have a recreational fire if the wind speed is more than 10 mph.
- Finally, ALWAYS BE IN ATTENDANCE when you have a recreational fire and have the means to put it out – like a garden hose.

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