Small fire forces evacuation at child care center

Fire crews were called to a laundry room fire Thursday.

Central Lakes College Child Care
A workers brings in an industrial vacuum cleaner to Annie’s Childcare and Learning Center Thursday, Jan 5, 2023, to clean up after a fire behind a clothes dryer. The children were evacuated from the building while the fire was being extinguished by the Brainerd Fire Department.
Steve kohls / Brainerd Dispatch
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BRAINERD — A small fire in a clothes dryer forced the brief evacuation Thursday, Jan. 5, of Annie’s Childcare and Learning Center in Brainerd.

The Brainerd Fire Department responded to the call of the fire at 11:15 a.m. at the child care facility located at 501 West College Drive.

Brainerd Fire Deputy Chief Dave Cox said a small fire started in the exhaust of the dryer. Crews arrived and found the fire was out.

Cox said staff safely evacuated the children, and after fire crews verified the fire was out, they cleared one of the rooms in the building to bring the kids back inside.

“Got the dryer unplugged and got the kids out,” said Joann Ostrowski, owner of Annie’s Child Care Center. “... The fire department came and got everything cleaned up and we're back in the building and things are good.”


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Brainerd Fire Chief Tim Holmes said a passerby noticed smoke coming from the roof area and reported the fire.
The Dispatch publishes records as part of its obligation to inform readers about the business of public institutions and to serve as a keeper of the local historical record.
Firefighters also responded to a report of a fire at 8:10 p.m. Friday.

The fire department was at the day care about a half-hour and was assisted by the Brainerd Police Department.

Cox reminded residents to verify their dryer's vent and exhaust are clean and clear of debris.

The total capacity of Annie’s Childcare and Learning Center at College Drive in Brainerd is 78, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services. The center serves infants, toddlers and preschool-age children.

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