A fire at Westridge Townhomes that occurred on Friday led to two children making a narrow escape to safety. 

On Friday at 5:32 p.m., the Forest Lake Police Department received a call of a fire at the 800 block of Southwest 12th Street at the Westridge Townhomes. 

Forest Lake Police Officer Jon Glader arrived just as one young girl jumped from a second-floor window as bystanders were able to catch her without any injuries. Other bystanders indicated there was a second occupant still in the building. He and Keon Whittler, another bystander who lives nearby, entered the smoke-filled structure without any protective equipment and were able to find the second girl on the second floor and brought her to safety within one minute. 

Both girls, the only occupants of the home at that time, were transported by ambulance for smoke inhalation, but are in good condition at home. Glader and Whittler were also treated for smoke inhalation at the scene, but were otherwise unharmed. 

Assistant Fire Chief Mike Swenson deployed two aerosol fire suppression grenades at the “well-involved” kitchen fire.

“It interrupts the fire process, and once it’s interrupted, the fire can no longer contain combustion and is compressed,” Fire Chief Al Newman said during the March 22 council meeting. He said the Fire Department put out the fire after that with under 50 gallons of water, which helped minimize water and smoke damage to the building.

Newman said he will look at the report to determine what awards if any would be applicable to grant in this situation.

“They went in without proper PPE, taking great risk to themselves,” Newman said.

Hannah Davis is the Area Editor at the Forest Lake Times. You can contact her at hannah.davis@ecm-inc.com or (763)233-0709

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