July 8 - Sprinklers contained a smoky fire at a warehouse in Chaska on Sunday afternoon. The contents of the warehouse required a hazmat response and decontamination operation.
At 1:06 p.m. Chaska crews were dispatched to the QualiTech warehouse at 318 Lake Hazeltine Dr. for a waterflow activation. The business makes animal feed.
Chief 2 arrived to find nothing showing from the one-story, 200-by-300-foot warehouse. Upon entry to investigate the alarm panels, he found a light smoke condition in the building, Chief Kevin Trebiatowski said.
Chiefs 3 and 1 arrived moments later and Chief 1 found light smoke showing from the loading dock on the A-side of the building and mutual aid was requested from Chanhassen and Victoria.
Chaska Engine 12′s crew secured a water supply in front of the building and connected to the fire department connections. A second supply line was secured to Chaska Engine 11 when crews laid 1,500 feet of large diameter hose to the scene.
Firefighters deployed two attack lines to the warehouse area of the building where they found heavy smoke conditions. Trebiatowski said that once they reached the seat of the fire, they found the sprinklers had contained the fire.
“Crews realized that they had chemicals burning on pallets, so we pulled the crews out to determine that chemicals were involved and to reevaluate the scene,” he said.
Chaska Tower 12 and Chanhassen Ladder 11 positioned their aerials to the roof to check for extension.
The Carver County hazmat team was alerted and it was determined that the chemicals were not toxic.
The massive area was filled with smoke and the removal challenged crews.
“For ventilation we used Shakopee’s fan boat (the “Ice Angel”) to ventilate the building,” Trebiatowski said. “It was a huge asset to us.”
The incident was marked under control at 2:46 p.m.
A decontamination area was set up near the scene where crews went through to have their gear cleaned from the chemical exposure. A large rehab area was set up using Excelsior’s LSU unit.
Additional firefighters and resources from Minnetonka, Eden Prairie and Shakopee responded to the scene. Ridgeview Ambulance crews stoodby at the scene.
Crews remained on scene ventilating the structure and overhauling the area and the last unit cleared at 6:35 p.m.