Firefighters in one Minnesota city were kept busy with back-to-back structure fires Wednesday evening, just as temperatures hovered around zero.
Inver Grove Heights crews were alerted at 4:34 p.m. for a house fire in the 74 block of Clayton Avenue. Chief 1, Judy Thill, arrived minutes later and reported smoke showing from the front door of the dwelling. She met with the homeowner, who confirmed that everyone had evacuated the structure.
The crew of Engine 11 stretched a handline into the structure and quickly knocked down the contents fire in a bedroom. The home suffered smoke damage throughout.
The owner had tried to extinguish the fire before crews arrived, and he and his family were treated by Health East paramedics for smoke inhalation.
Just as crews returned to their stations, they were alerted to another house fire in the 4600 block of Babcock Trail at 5:29 p.m.
Inver Grove Heights Engine 14, commanded by Captain 32, arrived to find heavy smoke from the C and D sides of the one-story home. They were met by the owner, who tried to control the fire with water and also closed the door of the fire room.
Because of limited staffing, the crew darkened down the fire from the exterior. As additional units arrived, two lines were stretched to the interior and the fire was quickly knocked down.
The fire gutted the bedroom, and the main level of the home suffered extensive smoke damage.
Units cleared the second fire by 7:30 p.m.