MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Firefighters battled a basement fire in the St. Paul home of a 77-year-old woman Monday morning, authorities said.

Marshal Steve Zaccard said crews responded to the house, located on the 2100 block of Bush Avenue, at 10:22 a.m. – minutes after a woman called saying that she found her basement filled with smoke.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, they found smoke billowing out of the basement windows. At first, firefighters made an interior attack on the flames and checked for possible victims.

The fire began to get out of control, so firefighters retreated from inside the house and began an attack from the outside. Basement fires are especially dangerous to deal with because there are few means (doors, windows) by which the smoke and heat can ventilate and firefighters can attack, Zaccard said.

After attacking the fire from the outside, crews re-entered the home and attacked again from the interior.

The cause of the fire is likely due to an electrical malfunction from a device on the basement ceiling, Zaccard said.

The home sustained heavy heat, smoke and water damage. No financial estimate has yet been made on the damage.

The woman said she was having breakfast when she began to smell smoke.


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