Feb. 25--Two crimes occurred at a St. Paul building Friday, Feb. 22 -- an arson that left two people injured and a theft from a marked fire department vehicle.
Firefighters were called to the 600 block of North Dale Street at 4:51 a.m. and found heavy smoke coming from the second-floor windows of a building with vacant commercial space on the first floor and two apartments on the second, said Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard.
The fire began in the basement and spread up the walls to the attic. Paramedics treated two residents -- a 91-year-old woman and a man in his 50s -- for smoke inhalation and other injuries and took them to Regions Hospital, Zaccard said.
The fire had been intentionally set, but Zaccard said he couldn't discuss how that was known because of an ongoing criminal investigation. The loss is estimated at $125,000.
There were smoke detectors, but they weren't working, Zaccard said.
Meanwhile, two fire department cameras got wet, and a fire investigator set them to dry out by defrosters on the dashboard of a marked St. Paul fire vehicle, Zaccard said. The vehicle had its emergency lights on and was unlocked, according to police.
One 35mm digital camera was stolen in what Zaccard called a brazen move.
"Those are pretty old, beat-up cameras that are probably not worth much for resale but worth a lot more to us," he said. The camera will cost about $1,000 to replace, Zaccard said.
Mara H. Gottfried can be reached at 651-228-5262. Follow her at
Copyright 2013 - Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.