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Proctor area house catches fire less than hour after fire station scales back staffing

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on Jan. 8, 2013 at 11:39 am |
January 8, 2013 11:39 am

25th fireLess than an hour after the Proctor fire station scaled back their services due to budget cuts, a house caught fire two blocks away.

The blaze in the 4000 block of N. 25th Street was reported at 7:49 a.m. The cuts, which include the deactivation of Station 13’s fire engine, went into effect at 7 a.m.

Since that station no longer has a pump, hose or water tank, firefighters from Station 9 responded and arrived within four minutes. They were able to confine the fire to a single room while the crew from Station 13 made sure nobody was in the home.

Investigators said the cause was a failure in the house’s knob and tube electrical wiring. Damages are estimated at $15,000.

Department spokesman Joe Meinecke said the changes to staffing did not have a noticeable effect on this morning’s incident.

“Our response times were good and from an operations standpoint, things went just like we talked about and prepared our crews for,” he said.

The cuts were part of a plan to help the city deal with a $63 million budget shortfall.

Two firefighters now staff Station 13 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with an emergency response vehicle equipped with medical supplies. The station will not be staffed overnight, and other fire stations will respond to fires in the Proctor district.

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