Debris Slows St. Paul Firefighters


St. Paul firefighters encountered Collier's Mansion conditions while battling a house fire on Sept. 5. A dog died in the smoky fire.

Just before 4 p.m., crews were dispatched to a dwelling fire on Goodrich Avenue near Smith Avenue. The caller reported smoke and flames from the side of the house. Engines 8, 10 and 15, Ladder 8, Squad 3 and District Chief 2 responded.

The conditions were confirmed by the crew of Squad 3. Heavy smoke was rolling from the windows and front door of the two-story dwelling.

As they tried to enter the structure, the firefighters found it difficult to get passed the front door to debris piled high inside. Other crews tried entering other sides of the home and the second floor, but still encountered large piles of personal belongings and furniture.

Squad 3’s crew was able to make their way down a narrow hall through the debris. They found the fire in a side room and quickly knocked it.

As conditions inside the structure were improving, crews searched the home for any possible occupants. They later found out the resident was not home.

According to Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard, the debris was piled three and four feet high throughout the house.

The fire was under control in about 20 minutes.