Contact: Deputy Chief of Administration Harold Breffle, 612-581-2146
Update on May 27 church fire in south Minneapolis
May 29, 2012 (Minneapolis) Minneapolis Fire officials have several updates today on the May 27 fire that destroyed the Walker Community United Methodist Church and injured five firefighters.
The Minneapolis fire department is releasing the names of the five firefighters who were injured while fighting the fire at the church. They are:
- Captain Kathrynne Baumtrog - 13-year veteran, currently being treated at Hennepin County Medical Center
- Captain Paul Baumtrog – 33-year veteran, treated and released on Sunday, May 27
- Captain Joe Mattison – 18-year veteran, treated and released on Sunday, May 27
- Firefighter Sandy Meredith – 4-year veteran, treated and released Sunday, May 27
- Firefighter Christie Nixon – 11-year veteran, treated and released on Monday, May 28
The Minneapolis Fire Department wants to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers as our colleagues continue their recovery. We know there is significant media interest in meeting with firefighter Baumtrog while she is in the hospital, as well as others who were injured. We will be working to set up a time for media to meet with them later this week, and in the meantime, we ask for space and time for them to focus on healing.
Folks can show their support for our injured firefighters by sending cards and letters to the Fire Department offices, and they will be shared with Captains Baumtrog, Captain Mattison, and Firefighters Nixon and Meredith.
Please send cards and letters to:
c/o Minneapolis Fire Department
350 S. 5th St., Room 233
Minneapolis, MN 55415
At this point in the investigation the cause of this fire is undetermined. Due to the intensity of the fire, the building’s structural integrity was severely compromised and the building was demolished the following day.
On the evening of May 27, Minneapolis fire crews were dispatched to a smoke alarm call at the Walker Community United Methodist Church at 3104 16th Ave. S. Upon arrival, crews smelled smoke and upgraded the call to request additional resources to the scene.
Crews located the fire in the attic area of the structure. In the course of fighting the fire, five Minneapolis firefighters were injured and taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. Of those, three were treated for first degree burns on their hands and were released that night. Two firefighters remain at HCMC with first and second degree burns that will require additional treatment. No civilians were injured.
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Published May 29, 2012