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UPDATED: Fridley Fire Department Investigating Garage, House Fire

Fire in garage spread to common attic over garage and house, chief said.

Update (7 p.m. Wednesday): Twin Cities Fire Wire has posted dramatic night photos of Fridley firefighters battling the fire in an attached garage on Jefferson Street NE early Wednesday.

Update (1 p.m. Wednesday): Here are some details about the overnight Jefferson Street NE house/garage fire, from an interview Wednesday morning with Fridley Fire Chief John Berg, that are not included in the written accounts below.

  • "By the time we got there it was through the roof," Berg said.
  • The firewall built between the house and attached garage prevented the fire from spreading from the garage to the adjacent family room.
  • There is "lots of water damage to the house." Contents of the house will account for much of the damage from the fire.
  • The car that burned was parked in the driveway in front of the garage, not inside the garage.
  • One family member was at home watching TV when another family member returned home, saw the fire and woke up sleeping family members. No one was hurt.
  • Investigators from the Fridley Fire Department are resuming their examination of the site by daylight Wednesday. They worked in the dark until about 4 a.m. Wednesday.
  • Asked whether it appeared the fire started in the garage, Berg said it wasn't clear and that another possibility was that the fire started outside the garage.
  • The family told firefighters it was OK for their betta fish to remain in the house. (Betta fish are nearly indestructible, Berg noted. At about 9 a.m. Wednesday, a person walked away from the house carrying a goldfish bowl.

Update (12:20 p.m. Wednesday): Fridley Fire Chief John Berg responded by email to questions about explosions reported at the Fridley Patch Facebook page by a neighbor of the house on Jefferson Street that suffered a fire early Wednesday morning:

The two front tires on the car exploded. This happened while we were deploying the first hose line to attack the fire. There are a lot of different things that can explode and potentially cause injury including any gas cylinders (propane, aerosol cans, gas struts in cars). All of these could be found in a garage or in or on a vehicle. We take precautions by wearing full protective clothing and respiratory protection and by putting water on the fire as quickly as possible. I don’t know of anything in the garage last night that would have exploded but, it is possible.

The front end of the car is damaged. Mostly the engine compartment.

Update (11:20 a.m. Wednesday): Here is Fridley Fire Chief John Berg's account of the garage and house fire on Jefferson Street NE early Wednesday morning (from an email message):

The fire was dispatched at 0008 [12:08 a.m.]. Chief 1 arrived at 0015 [12:15 a.m.] and reported a fully involved attached garage fire. The home is a rambler with an attached single vehicle garage typical of the homes built in the 60’s. Three bedrooms. Wood frame with wood siding and asphalt shingles. It did have a common attic for the whole building.

Fridley Engine 3, Captain 21 (crew of 5) arrived at the same time and forward laid a 5 inch supply line from 63rd Avenue and deployed a 2 ½ inch attack line in a defensive operation to protect the exposure on the north. This pretty well knocked the fire down (0025). The second arriving unit (0024), Fridley Arial 2, Captain 11(crew of 6) took a 1 ¾ inch hand line in the entrance on the A side and found no fire in the home. They pulled ceilings and extinguished the fire in the attic. The fire was declared under control at 0045. Everything else was salvage & overhaul.

The home owners son discovered the fire when he came home and alerted his family. No one was injured. Property loss is going to be in excess of $30,000. The family is currently staying with a neighbor. The home on the north (D side) has minor damage to the exterior including a broken window. The blinds inside that window melted from radiant heat. Responding units: Fridley C-1, E-3, C-21, A-2, C-11, L-2, R-3, E-1, C-10,  E-2, C-2 and Heights E-4, C-13, C-2  

The origin and cause investigation will continue today.

Update (9:30 a.m. Wednesday): Caution tape is strung aroung the north half of a house and attached garage in the 6300 block of Jefferson Street NE that suffered a fire early Wednesday (see below).

The damage appears worst around the garage, with a burned car parked in the driveway.

Two sources said the occupants made it out safely (see below). At about 9 a.m., a person was walking away from the house across Jefferson Street carrying a goldfish bowl.

Original post (3:30 a.m. Wednesday): A fire in an attached garage spread to the house in the 6300 block of Jefferson Street NE in Fridley early Wednesday morning, according to reports from multiple sources.

Fridley Patch Facebook Page
On the Fridley Patch Facebook page
, a neighbor reported at 12:46 a.m.:

The house next to ours is on fire,there has been several explosions.I believe the homeowners are safe,the family car has started on fire as well.They are working on putting the fire out now.Thank you to our brave Fridley Fire men/women for the quick response. 

Twin Cities Incident Page
Twin Cities Incident Page reported on Twitter
and on the TCIP Facebook page at 12:53 a.m.:

Fully involved attached garage fire, all parties out of home. Mutual Aid Columbia Heights.

(Note: The same report at the TCIP Google Groups web page has a timestamp or 12:18 a.m.)

Anoka County Emergency Dispatch
A scanner monitor reported hearing on Anoka County Emergency Dispatch radio:

  • 12:50 a.m.: Attached garage fire/house fire. Second alarm.
  • 1:08 a.m.: The garage was fully engulfed. Now there's an extension on the house itself. They're doing an exterior attack. It's a second alarm. 

Look for further updates to this post Wednesday morning.

Rudy Caparros December 17, 2012 at 10:10 PM
WARNING: FIRST RESPONDERS' use of THE CHLORINE INSTITUTE "C" KIT may cause the catastrophic failure of a chlorine tank car, instantly creating a toxic gas plume with a distance of not less than seven miles. The first mile will have chlorine concentrations of 1,000 ppm, causing death after one or two breaths with no opportunity for escape. TO learn more, see PETITION C KIT, click on "First Responder Warnings."

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