Paper carrier saves the day in early morning fire
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
A local paper carrier making his rounds may have saved the lives of three men in Cloquet the day after Christmas.
Units from the Cloquet Area Fire District (CAFD) responded to an early morning report of a garage on fire at 2202 Carlton Ave. in Cloquet at approximately 3 a.m. Dec. 26. The call was phoned in by Gregory Blackburn, a newspaper carrier who happened upon the scene and saw smoke and flames coming from the structure.
According to CAFD Battalion Chief Steve Kolodge, upon arrival the units found a fully involved garage which had also spread to the two vehicles inside it. Kolodge said the radiant heat from the blaze then caused the fire to jump to the adjacent house, which was approximately five to six feet away from the garage.
Kolodge and his men broke down the front door of the house, entered the residence and evacuated three individuals from the home – Marlen Salo, 80, and his two adult sons, Mark and Michael – all of whom had been sleeping at the time the fire started.
The fire blew out one kitchen window in the home, spread up to the roof and scorched one side of the house.
The garage and the two vehicles inside it were both a total loss. The home was vented and overhauled and received minor fire damage. No injuries were reported and no cause of the blaze has yet been determined. The fire remains under investigation.