Hoses freeze during fire at Minneapolis scrap metal plant

Minneapolis firefighters endured subzero temperatures while fighting a fire at Alliance Steel on the city's north side early Wednesday morning. The 3-alarm fire started when a bin of aluminum shavings ignited.

The fire started just before 1 a.m. at the building at 81 St. Anthony Parkway. All overhead doors were cut open to provide ventilation and hundreds of feet of hose were laid to hydrants.

A second alarm was called at 12:57 a.m. and a third alarm was called at 2 a.m. The building's sprinkler system helped contain the fire, but couldn't fully extinguish the fire in the aluminum shavings. The scene was cleared by 7 a.m.

Temperatures in Minneapolis were about -10 at the time of the fire. Firefighters needed to use special equipment to break apart frozen hose lines. The Salvation Army and a Metro Transit bus helped keep firefighters warm and hydrated throughout the morning.

Fire investigators determined it was an accidental fire caused by a spark from a cutting tool. Work was being done too close to a combustible metal.

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