EAGAN, Minn. (WCCO) — Fire crews have been busy around the Twin Cities the last few, extremely chilly evenings.
On Wednesday morning, firefighters were, once again, called to the scene of a blaze. This one hit a new restaurant in Eagan.
Crews were called to Ansari’s Mediterranean Grill at about 4:45 a.m. Someone witnessed smoked coming from the back of the building. Temperatures were around -4 at the time, which made it difficult on the fire equipment — and the firefighters.
“The area where the fire started is above the restroom and kitchen area, to the rear of the building,” said Eagan Fire Chief Mike Scott.
Some of that smoke was from the cold. Ice coated firefighter’s hats. They even had to bring in more people to help deal with the cold.
“Its mostly because of the extreme temps. We just have to change out firefighters so much quicker. Obviously they are dressed for the weather but at some point your fingers will just stop working and we have to switch crews out,” said Scott.
While some warmed up in tents, others fought the fire. But warming up even caused some issues.
“The danger of warming up is sometimes you just have ice on your gloves and you go warm up, now it’s melted and it’s wet and you come back out,” said Scott.
Firefighters also had to watch their footing.
“We had several firefighters fall on the ice. Nobody was injured, just a lot of slips and falls,” said Scott.
They also had to keep the engines running on the fire trucks to keep them warm. An extra truck had to be brought in to refuel the rigs.
The ladders on some of the trucks froze up. And one fire hydrant was frozen.
Firefighters from Eagan, Apple Valley, Burnsville, Mendota Heights firefighters all responded on scene.
The fire was trapped under the metal roof, so it proved difficult for crews to target, but it was mostly extinguished by daybreak.
The restaurant opened about one year ago in a location that had previously been a Bakers Square.
No one was injured in the fire and investigators are still trying to determine what caused the blaze.
Sonya Goins, Producer