Firefighters Wednesday morning responded to a report of smoke inside Bob and Fran's Factory Direct in downtown Brainerd.
The smoke was reported at 7:14 a.m. The Brainerd Police Department arrived first on scene and confirmed there was smoke inside the building. Police assisted in blocking traffic to give firefighters enough room to work, while traffic was busy as people were heading to work.
When fire crews arrived with two engines and a ladder truck, they began looking for the cause and location of where the smoke was coming from, Fire Chief Tim Holmes said. Firefighters searched inside the building, and a few firefighters used the department's ladder truck to get up to the building's roof to check the chimney, Holmes said. Holmes said crews learned the chimney was not in use.
Firefighters, inside the building, found the cause of the smoke in the basement, in the boiler room of the building next to Bob and Fran's, Holmes stated in a news release. Firefighters found a small smoldering fire in debris in the boiler room. The fire was extinguished and the debris and embers were removed, Holmes stated. Fans were used to evacuate the smoke from the building.
Holmes stated, "The building owner was on scene and said he learned that some of his employees were doing some grinding in the basement yesterday, making repairs to the building."
No one was injured and there was no property loss.
There were 18 firefighters on scene who also had to battle the frigid cold as the temperature was 3 below zero, with a wind chill of 19 below, according to the National Weather Service in Duluth.
The scene was cleared at 8:28 a.m.
Bob and Fran's is a family owned and operated retail furniture, appliance and mattress store, that has been present at the corner of South Eighth Street and Laurel Street for the past 20 years.
Other fire calls
The Brainerd Fire Department responded to a vehicle fire at 6:04 a.m. Wednesday on North Ninth Street and Kingwood Street. Firefighters had another vehicle fire reported at 3:31 p.m. Tuesday on the 5200 block of Fairview Road in Baxter. The fire was out upon arrival.
Firefighters also were called at 3:40 p.m. Tuesday to Office Max, 7626 Clearwater Road N, for a fire alarm. Firefighters were canceled prior to arrival.