An fire Tuesday, April 17 damaged a Maple Grove townhome fourplex and left one person injured.
The was called the 10900 block of 104th Place about 11:08 p.m. Tuesday.
When the first responders arrived, they found the two-story townhome “well involved in fire on the ground and second floor with flames visible and coming out windows on both floors,” according to Maple Grove Fire Chief Scott Anderson in an email interview with Patch.
All units were occupied at the time of the fire, he said, and about 15 people were displaced. One person was hospitalized.
“The occupant of the unit where the fire originated tells us that he started his sauna on the ground floor, then went into the garage for a smoke. When he went back into the unit and into the bathroom where the sauna was located, it was full of flames,” Anderson said. “He was able to escape from the ground floor patio door.”
The man suffered minor burns and smoke inhalation, according to Anderson, and transported by ambulance to Mercy Hospital for further evaluation. His condition as of 7:30 a.m. Wednesday morning was unknown. No firefighters were injured.
The fire caused “total damage” to the unit where the fire originated, Anderson said, “considerable damage” to one other, with “lesser damage” to the other two of the four units.
In addition to fighting the fire, crews had the challenge of facing several other unexpected factors, including the nighttime darkness and passing thunderstorms with lightning—which prevented the use of the ladder truck.
There was also “live ammunition exploding in the unit where the fire originated,” Anderson said.
Gas meters for two of the units “burned up,” he said, and escaping natural gas was “burning at the pipes that came out of the ground.” Crews had to wait for Centerpoint Energy crews to respond to dig down and shut off the gas lines. The incident with the gas meters did not cause any additional damage. Anderson said there was no additional danger to fire crews from the burning natural gas.
Maple Grove Fire Stations #2 and #3 responded to the fire, along with the Anoka/Champlin Fire Department with an engine and a ladder truck. Firefighters used large truck-mounted nozzles for the initial firefighting to extinguish the most of the fire. Smaller hose lines were then used to put out the remaining fire.
The Maple Grove Fire Department continues to investigate the incident.