Minn. Police Car Hits Gas Line, Ignites Building Fire

VADNAIS HEIGHTS -- A police officer suffered minor injuries after their vehicle struck a gas line and started an office building on fire on May 29.

The Ramsey County Sheriff's deputy was involved in a pursuit when the squad car went up an embankment and crashed into a Willow Lake Drive business just before 10 p.m. The cruiser hit a gas main, which sparked a fire spread to the interior of the one-story office building.

Fire crews from Vadnais Height and Little Canada were called to the scene and encountered a burning gas line and with active fire inside the building, said Ed Leier. 

Firefighters began attacking the fire from the inside and stretched hoselines to cool the area around the busted gas line.

Additional units from Lake Johanna and White Bear Lake responded when extra firefighters were need.

Leier said crews opened the roof to watch for extension. They encountered fire in the attic and kept it in check.

Several handlines were used to cool the area for about 90 minutes while the utility company located and cut the gas service.

At one point, firefighters accessed the trunk of the car to remove various pieces of equipment.

Sheriff's office spokesman Randy Gustafson said the officer was taken to an area hospital to be evaluated.