Our View: Firefighters deserve praise after battling major blazeA major fire last week again draws our attention to the wonderful volunteer firefighters in our community who respond to calls in the Hudson area any time of the day or night.
By: Editorial staff, Hudson Star-Observer
A major fire last week again draws our attention to the wonderful volunteer firefighters in our community who respond to calls in the Hudson area any time of the day or night.
The fire at St. Croix Storage and Transfer last Thursday night, Friday and Friday night was probably one of the biggest fires in our community since the “Great Fire” of 1866, when much of the community was leveled.
Last week’s fire involved not only the Hudson Fire Department, but firefighters from at least 43 communities from the Twin Cities, eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. For that, we pay tribute to volunteer firefighters from all of the communities who were willing to put their lives and jobs on hold while helping a neighbor in need.
It is reassuring to know that, through mutual aid agreements and good old willingness to help a neighbor in need, firefighters in other communities were willing to travel — in some cases many miles — to lend a hand in Hudson.
The St. Croix Storage and Transfer fire was particularly challenging and stubborn because of the contents of the building (about 90 percent cardboard boxes). Add to that the below-zero weather Thursday night and it made for a miserable situation.
The Hudson Fire Department had faced two major fires in recent weeks, the other being the Dorothy Olson home at 816 10th St. on Nov. 28. That blaze also involved mutual aid, but not nearly the amount needed for last week’s St. Croix Storage and Transfer fire.
During a recent Fire Prevention Week editorial we said: “After major fires, volunteer firefighters often look like — and are — heroes. Not so glamorous, however, are the runs that occur regularly — accident scenes, grass fires, minor fires, false alarms (there are many of those with alarm systems in homes and businesses today), etc.”
We know firefighters are not looking for praise — most are extremely modest. What they are most concerned about is fire safety.
If you want to pay tribute to our local fire department, follow the advice of Hudson Fire Chief Jim Frye, who always says, “Make sure your smoke alarms are in working order.” Smoke alarms have saved many lives in the Hudson area — a mere 30 seconds can mean the difference between life and death. That’s good advice as we head into the cold weather season.
After last week’s duty, however, we think it is appropriate to use the word “hero” to describe all the firefighters from 43 communities. They battled a stubborn and difficult blaze in Hudson in extreme weather conditions in Hudson beginning on Thursday, Dec. 11.
Thank goodness we have people willing to accept the challenge of fighting all fires, big or small.