A soggy, smoky, and grim New Year's opened near Minneapolis' downtown with a fire that rapidly engulfed a building after a possible explosion, requiring the response of 55 firefighters and attracting attention from neighbors on all sides, including a mosque. While the fire was contained, it proved to be dangerous going for crews, as the combination of intense heat inside the structure and extreme cold outside posed a number of health risks, with slick streets and ice-rimed trees adding to the hazards.
The fire serves as a reminder that it's important to regularly service heating and electrical systems to make sure they are in good working order, and to reduce the risk of fire. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be regularly checked to make sure they'll activate in emergencies, and in larger structures with sprinkler systems, it's critical to have the system evaluated periodically to confirm it will kick on in an emergency. Specialty Minneapolis plumbing contractors can install and service such systems so they'll be ready if they're needed.