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Crews Battle Elements and Flames in 2 Mpls Fires

Posted at: 02/19/2013 5:49 AM
Updated at: 02/19/2013 2:22 PM
By: Cassie Hart

There were tough conditions for Minneapolis firefighters Tuesday morning.

The blistering cold, windy day made for quite a challenge for the same Minneapolis fire crews battling two early morning fire.

It was a long shift of fighting fires in the sub-zero temperatures with wind whipping at the firefighters faces.

Some of the challenges in addition to just staying warm, was making sure the equipment was working properly, and that the fire hydrants didn't freeze over.

The first fire at Northern Metal Recycling off Broadway Avenue and Washington Ave. was stubborn due to the wind.

They had to call in extra crews to Northern Metals Recycling just after 1:00 a.m. because of the extreme conditions.

A portion of the building was destroyed by flames. Strong winds made it hard for firefighters, as winds between 20 and 40 miles per hour were pushing the flames across the roof.

"The weather is extremely difficult for fire fighting. We're in single degree weather with minus 20 wind chill. It's very difficult with the water spray that's was coming back. It's hard on the equipment, It's definitely hard on the personnel out here fighting the fire," said Minneapolis Fire Marshal Perry Ebner.

The second fire at the North Minneapolis  home didn't spread as easily, but the biggest obstacle was getting the homeowner out in time. The homeowner is doing fine, just minor smoke inhalation.

Six residents in an apartment complex near the recycling warehouse were evacuated early this morning, but they are back in their homes.