Water Pressure Slows Minn. Crews at 3-Alarmer

Low water pressure slowed firefighters while battling a three alarm fire at a St. Paul furniture repair and restoration warehouse early Tuesday. The additional alarms were called to help contain the fire and supply water to crews.

The fire was reported at 3:20 a.m. and firefighters arrived to find fire through the roof of the factory area of the one-story brick building. The building was separated by exposures by fire walls.

The incident commander called for an immediate second alarm for additional crews.

Crews began an exterior attack with aerial ladders, master streams and hoselines. Crews also operated a handline from the interior of the D exposure, but were withdrawn with concerns of a collapse, St. Paul Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard said.

About 45 minutes into the incident, a third alarm was called for additional assistance and hose. Because of poor water pressure they utilized several hydrants, including a 3,000 foot lay to a larger main. Zaccard said that several hydrants needed to be dug out from the snow. Two additional engines were called to the scene to assist with additional hose and manpower.

At the same time, another working fire was reported at a bar in St. Paul. Units from Minneapolis and Maplewood were called to that scene and crews from Roseville were called to cover St. Paul.

The fire on Prior Avenue was contained by 6 a.m., but crews spent hours on scene picking up ice encrusted hose and tools.

The fire destroyed the one building and damaged another.

Zaccard said two firefighters were treated on scene for frostbite.