Bergquist fire UPDATE interview with Assistant Chief Cloquet Area Fire District
What came in as a dispatch call at 4PM on Wednesday February 22nd, turned out to be something even bigger for the Cloquet area. A building that has been an absolute staple in the Cloquet community, Bergquist, was on fire.
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“Yeah, so the fire progressed. We weren’t able to minimize the damage associated with the structure. It did spread. We did have to go with the offensive and defensive. We deployed our aerial apparatus to start putting large amounts of water on that fire from above. And with that increased load, as far as the snow increased load from the water volume and then the structural integrity that was being compromised by the fire eventually led to that,” says Corey Larson, Cloquet Area Fire District’s assistant chief.
No one was hurt during the blaze, however, portions of the roof did collapse.
“For us, it’s the duration of being on scene for such an extended period of time and being able to properly mitigate in between all the different agencies that were on scene. And I think that the highlighting factor was how well we worked together between ourselves, this area of our district and all our mutual aid partners,” continues Larson.
According to Larson, the storefront itself still looks rather original from what individuals would have experienced last week. However for the rear of the building, that is another story.
“That is where the most heavy ammonia fire damage actually occurred. And so a lot of the walls lost its integrity. It is still standing. There is significant damage. And you can see signs of fire imprint infringement on those exterior walls as well,” continues Larson.
“We were very, very fortunate that we didn’t have any patrons of said businesses, any community members that were injured during the duration of that fire incident. And besides a couple of slips and trips, as of right now, we have not had any significant injuries to any of our firefighters who required further medical attention,” finishes Larson.
We were told the determination of the cause of the fire is under investigation. Bergquist posted on their website that they are uncertain of their future, and no orders are being accepted at this time. They do thank customers and the community for their business and their support.
We’ll keep you updated on this story.