One man received severe burns to his legs and was flown to the hospital from a machine shop fire in Pine River, Saturday, Aug. 16.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. According to Pine River Fire Chief Kevin Kleiner, the man was carried out of the shop by people who were near the scene at the time of the fire. Names are not being given. Air transport was requested for the patient because the nearest ambulance was in Breezy Point.
High temperatures made fighting the fire particularly exhausting. In addition to the Pine River Fire Department, the Backus, Pequot, Hackensack, and Ideal Corners Fire Departments were all called for mutual aid. With this additional help, fire fighters were able to rest when neccesary.
The fire started just before 6 p.m. and the Pine River Fire Department was finished cleaning up before 10 p.m. There were no reignitions. Kleiner said that around 5,500-6,000 gallons of water were used to extinguish the fire.
“I just want to mention we want to thank them for coming to help us. It was a very warm day. The building and the fire itself was very hot,” Kleiner said. “To be able to rotate people out when they are tired and hot is pretty important. We had a lot of good help there.”
The shop, owned by Jim Rice of Northern Excavating is located on a road adjacent to the Pine River-Backus School. Three skidsteers and two vehicles as well as other equipment and tools were damaged or destroyed in the fire, though the building wasn’t a total loss.