Fire Suppression Tool donated to Cloquet Area Fire District

Cloquet Area Fire District receives Fire Suppression Tool

The Cloquet Area Fire District is the first fire department in Carlton County to receive a Fire Suppression Tool.

At Wednesday’s board meeting, the Cloquet Area Fire District was given a Fire Suppression Tool for their Battalion Chief’s car. It was donated by Dalles Masonic Lodge #181 of Cloquet, the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, and Minnesota Masonic Charities.

Fire Suppression Tools cost around $1100 each and have been in the country for a few years. Four Fire Suppression Tools have been donated to the Carlton County Sheriff’s Department, but this is the fire department in the county to receive one. The device is made to help the first people on the scene buy time before firefighters arrive.

“There’s been a program across the state of Minnesota in the last year to a year and a half about donating a fire suppression tool,” said Dalles Masonic Lodge #181 Junior Deacon Justin Grill. “It’s a handheld device that is similar to a fire extinguisher, but it’s not the same tool. It doesn’t use a powder. It aerosolizes a chemical that breaks the chemical bond between the oxygen and the fire. So it’s a handheld device that weighs about 20 pounds, and it looks more like a large handheld grenade. It is a one-time use. You pull the pin, you throw it in the fire, and it’s fully recyclable once it’s done.”

Since this tool is non-corrosive and does not deplete oxygen, it is safe to use around people who might be stuck in the fire. It also helps decrease the damage to personal property from not only the fire but also water and firefighting foam.

“It’s safe for electronics and gives us– the sooner we put out the fire, it gives more of a chance to save more personal property,” said Cloquet Area Fire District Battalion Chief Jeremy Hutchison. “And the big personal property that people really value after a fire are photographs and documents and, you know, the hard stuff to replace once it gets wet or smoke damaged or whatnot. So this just makes that a better shot. Then the smaller we keep the fire, the sooner we get the fire out, it also helps and leads to fewer injuries for firefighters. So it’s a great option for us to have.”

The device is used for buildings. As for wildfires, Hutchison would like to remind everyone to be careful what they burn and pay attention to the wind.

“The big thing is, pay attention to the warnings the DNR puts out there, follow the burning restrictions,” said Hutchison. “And really, it’s just about being smart if you are burning. So having a water source or something nearby to extinguish a fire, not letting recreational fires get too big. A big problem is that a lot of people burn trash, and it’s just understanding that it’s not appropriate to burn trash. Anything anyone should be burning is just natural vegetation. So sticks, wood, untreated lumber, that sort of thing.”