The Cities Blog

Mpls fire chief watches gas explosion from Maryland

The Minneapolis Fire Department fought the massive fire at a natural gas main in south Minneapolis today without its top commander.

Fire Chief Alex Jackson is in Maryland participating in an emergency operations training drill sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Council Member John Quincy, whose ward covers the area where the fire occurred, is at the same training.

Here's what each had to say in the city's press release today -- sounds like they wish they could have been here to help out:

"Currently, I am in Maryland participating in an emergency operations training drill sponsored by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). The team of City staff is refining our emergency preparedness and response operations as part of our commitment to maintain the highest level of disaster preparedness. I will be returning to Minneapolis tomorrow," said Ward 11 Council Member John Quincy, whose ward includes the area where this morning's gas explosion took place. "Although I am not presently in my ward, I am staying on top of this incident in the same room as the Minneapolis Fire Chief who is also following the City's response. It's clear that emergency responders have been doing great work to protect the people in our community and handle this dangerous situation. Trust that we're already preparing the necessary steps to deal with the after-effects of this incident in coordination with our nonprofit partners. We know that a lot of people have been helping their neighbors. I want to thank you for being so engaged with our community."

"Even though I'm in Maryland at the National Fire Academy, I have been in close contact with command staff in Minneapolis as the incident unfolded this morning," said Minneapolis Fire Chief Alex Jackson. "I want to commend the Minneapolis Fire Department for their professionalism, their calm under pressure, and for staying true to our core mission to keep the community safe. I would also like to thank all the agencies that responded and assisted and to thank the community for working with us through this incident."

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