Arson the cause of two Anoka fires

by Eric Hagen
Staff Writer

Arson was the cause of two fires that the Anoka-Champlin Fire Department responded during the early morning hours of Valentine’s Day, according to Fire Chief Charlie Thompson.

The Anoka Police Department is now trying to determine who set the fires.

Firefighters responded to the 500 block of Harrison Street after the first call came in around 2:20 a.m. Feb. 14. Thompson said a shed on the property was already “fully involved.” The home was “easily 20 feet away” and sustained minor damage, according to Thompson.

A second call came in just after 3 a.m. as fire crews were fighting the first fire. The second call involved a detached garage in the 400 block of Van Buren Street a short distance away. Thompson said firefighters were able to quickly knock down that fire before it got to the home because the fire department was notified quick enough and did not have a long distance to travel from the first site.

The Anoka County Fire Investigation Team assisted Anoka-Champlin firefighters and determined that arson was the cause of both fires.

Thompson said nobody was hurt from the fires, but the shed and the detached garage and property inside these structures sustained heavy damage. Thompson understood that there were a couple of boats inside the detached shed on the Harrison Street property.

Although Anoka-Champlin firefighters did not need assistance at the two fire sites, Thompson noted that crews from the Andover and Ramsey fire departments staffed the Anoka-Champlin fire stations at Anoka-Champlin’s request after the second call came in. Thompson said this was done in case more calls came in.

Eric Hagen is at eric.hagen@ecm-inc.com

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