Rochester, MN – Single sprinkler head extinguishes unattended apartment cooking fire; No injuries reported

A cooking fire at an apartment building displaced two families with children Sunday night.

The Rochester Fire Department was called to a fire alarm around 8:20 p.m. Sunday at 920 40th St. NW, according to a news release from the department. Firefighters arrived to find smoke in the building. The sprinkler systems were on.

“When crews arrived at the apartment unit with the fire, they discovered an unattended cooking fire that had been extinguished by an activated sprinkler head,” the statement said.

The fire had been completely extinguished. Crews turned off the sprinkler system to limit the amount of water damage to the building and then ventilated the building to remove smoke and other toxic gases.

No one was injured, but the fire damaged the apartment’s stove, microwave and cabinets, while smoke and water damaged other parts of the building.

“Cooking is by far the leading cause of structure fires in Minnesota; almost half of all structure fires are due to cooking, which is over 4 times more than the next cause according to a 2017 report by the MN State Fire Marshall,” the statement said. “The top three factors in cooking fires is unattended cooking, combustibles too close to cooking equipment, and cooking equipment accidentally turned on.”

Staff from the American Red Cross said Sunday night that the organization was helping the two families secure a place to stay after the incident.

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