West Metro Fire Department battles 2 dangerous fires within 24 hours

It was a challenging and somber weekend for the victims of two fires, and it was also tough for the West Metro Fire Department, which serves the cities of Crystal and New Hope.

The 62-member department had to battle both fires within 24 hours of each other.

Just after noon Saturday, WMFD responded to a fire that killed a woman in the 5700 block of Quail Avenue North in Crystal. The next day, WMFD was called to a three-alarm fire that sent one person to the hospital at the Pheasant Park Apartment complex in the 5600 block of Boone Avenue North in New Hope.

West Metro Fire Chief Sarah Larson told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the two days were “very tough” on her firefighters and the department made sure it shuttled firefighters in and out of the fire to keep them fresh and safe.

“This has been a long weekend for us and it was challenging,” Larson said. “It’s taxing, and it’s a lot of energy and there were a lot of resources that were needed because this was a three-alarm fire, so we needed a lot of resources to get done what we needed to do today.”

Gabrielle Schulz is one of the residents displaced by the New Hope apartment fire. She said she and her boyfriend were fortunate they escaped the fire uninjured and were thankful for the resiliency of the firefighters.

“It could have been so much different and so much worse because we could have lost one of our cats or both of us, and I would not be here giving this interview,” Schulz said.

The name of the woman killed in the Crystal fire has not yet been released publicly and the condition of the person taken to the hospital during the New Hope apartment fire is unknown.

WMFD said early signs indicate the apartment fire was accidental, but it’s still under investigation. The cause of the deadly house fire in Crystal has not yet been determined either.