Minnesota News

Seven people — including six children — hospitalized after St. Paul house fire

A building and its contents show fire damage.
Fire-damaged items are seen in front of a home that burned early Wednesday on the 1200 block of Arkwright Street North in St. Paul. The fire injured seven people, including six children.
Kerem Yücel | MPR News

Updated: 11:15 a.m.

Firefighters rescued seven people — including six children — from a burning home in St. Paul early Wednesday morning.

All seven remained in critical condition at last report.

The St. Paul Fire Department said the fire was reported at about 1:30 a.m. at a home on the 1200 block of Arkwright Street North. That’s just north of Maryland Avenue.

Crews were on the scene within minutes and found the home filled with smoke. Fire Chief Butch Inks told reporters at a news conference later Wednesday morning that one firefighter found and rescued multiple children.

Two officers exam a wall and place a sign on the wall.
City officials post a notice on the home that burned.
Kerem Yücel | MPR News

“This individual went in, quickly found one child, pulled the child out. Went back in, found another child, pulled that child out. And then went back in for a third time and found another child and pulled that child out, and begin doing medical CPR on that child right as they exited the building,” Inks said.

All seven people were unconscious when they were pulled from the home. They were being treated at two hospitals for smoke inhalation at last report. A second adult resident of the home was at work at the time of the fire, officials said.

No first responders were injured.

A building and its contents show fire damage.
Fire-damaged items are seen in the front yard of the home that burned early Wednesday in St. Paul.
Kerem Yücel | MPR News

Deputy Chief Roy Mokosso told reporters that it appears there were working smoke detectors in the home, but that the location of the fire in relation to the bedrooms may have impeded residents from getting out. A 911 call reporting the fire is believed to have come from inside the home, but “there just wasn’t much communication on the line,” Mokosso said.

Investigators are looking into the cause of the fire, but Mokosso said it is not considered suspicious.

The fire was quickly extinguished and crews were on scene for about two and a half hours, Mokosso said. No emergency responders were injured.

A structure is damaged with burns and smoke.
St. Paul fire crews responded to a fire on Arkwright Street North early Wednesday.
Courtesy of St. Paul Fire Department

Inks praised the emergency personnel who responded to the scene, noting the rarity of having to rescue so many people from one fire. He said he could recall it happening only a handful of times in his nearly 30-year career.

“It’s a very traumatic event for our folks. You know, we do this for a living, right? It’s our job. But it’s still — we’re human beings,” he said. “It’s very difficult to do a lot of times and to maintain composure, and to maintain the reason why we’re there. So these individuals that responded today really performed heroic things.”

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