As many as 20 firefighters from Fridley and Columbia Heights responded to a Saturday night fire at a house at 1541 60th Avenue NE.
The fire was in a rear bedroom, according to Firefighter Walter Messer.* Firefighters found smoke when they arrived and spent two hours on the scene, clearing smoke from the residence.
The occupants were able to leave the house and were not hurt, Messer said, although a medical response team was also on hand. Four Fridley Police and Reserve officers set up a perimeter at Benjamin Street NE and Oakwood Manor NE.
Scorched springs from a burned mattress lay in the front yard, with house and garage doors wide open to air out the house. There was smoke throughout the house, Messer said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
A Columbia Heights Fire Department crew waited on Benjamin Street NE in case they were needed, sharing bottled water with Fridley Police Reserve officers.
In hot, humid weather, fire calls require extra crews as firefighters battle exhaustion, Messer said.
New this year are devices that firefighters bring into structure fires to detect hydrogen cyanide, an element of smoke that can be especially harmful, Messer said.
"We're trying to save firefighters down the road," he said.
Twin Cities Fire Wire has photos and additional detail on how the Fridley Fire Department fought the fire.
*The original version of this story misidentified Walter Messer as his father, Ralph Messer.