No one injured in garage fire
Firefighters faced multiple challenges when a garage fire started Sunday evening in Cloquet.
Cloquet Area Fire District Chief Kevin Schroeder said the fire was "well involved" when crews got to the Jazdzewski home at the corner of Park Avenue and Chestnut Street. No one was injured.
The garage was very close to two other neighbor's garages, which both sustained damage from the fire but didn't burn down. A camper parked in the neighbor's driveway was severely damaged, and a coworker's car that was parked in front of the name's garage is a burned out shell.
Jamie Jazdzewski said her husband, Jon, had been outside grilling supper — because the power was out — but had gone inside to make salad when a woman pounded on the door to tell them the garage was on fire. The passerby had already called 911.
The call came in at 7:44 p.m., Schroeder said.
Dave Harwig said he was also grilling outside about four blocks away when he heard a loud pop and soon saw the smoke rising over the trees.
Schroeder said there were lots of "snap, crackle and pops" during the fire, which isn't unusual for a garage fire where things like cans of paint might be stored. In addition, he noted, you can hear the airbags in her coworker's car exploding in a video of the fire posted to the CAFD website.
"The fire department did awesome," Jazdzewski said, walking over to show how close a neighbor's home on Avenue D is to the back of the garage.
On Monday, the whole family stayed home to survey the damage. They were poking around the garage and wondering how old it was, and if the ancient electrical wiring had anything to do the fire.
Twelve-year-old Eli Jazdzewski was shooting baskets at a burned-out basketball hoop Monday afternoon, its rim blackened but still intact.
"A guy told us to stay inside," said 6-year-old Zoe Jazdzewski, adding that it was pretty scary. She and her brothers, Eli and Max, 9, were inside the home with their dad when the fire started.
Firefighters were able to contain the fire so it didn't spread to any of the houses nearby.
The final worry for firefighters — running out of water in the midst of the power outage — did not happen in the end. Schroeder said crews were worried they might empty out the water tower, but city crews were standing by to hook up to the Lake Superior waterline. It wasn't necessary, however, which is a good thing as the city would have had to issue an order for people to boil their water, because it doesn't meet drinking water standards. It is good enough to put out a fire though.
Firefighters were on the scene until about 9:30 p.m., and came back multiple times to check for hot spots.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Schroeder said.