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Reader Opinion: Top-notch response

On Friday morning, June 22, there was a fire at the North Star Apartments. As a member of the Brainerd Housing and Redevelopment Authority Board of Directors, I knew there was little I could do. However, as I thought about how tragic and devastating a fire in this particular building could be, I could not stay away. I parked on East River Road, directly across from the building and soon learned that the Brainerd Fire Department arrived at the scene in less than five minutes. Many of the residents who live at the North Star are vulnerable. The Brainerd Fire Department, the Brainerd Police Department, Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department and medics from North Memorial were present and engaged. Together, they evacuated the property by going door-to-door of this 12-story building that houses 162 units. They made certain that residents and their pets quickly got to safety. A couple who live at the North Star approached my car and shared that there was a fire on the ninth floor. Details were sketchy but everyone seemed calm and confident that everything was under control. And they were correct! Under the direction of Fire Chief Tim Holmes, all agencies worked together to provide an organized response to what could have been a major and devastating tragedy. The sprinkler system as well as the quick response from our fire department resulted in minimal damage to the building. On behalf of all who call the North Star their home, HRA staff and its board of directors, thank you to all responding emergency personnel. You are important and valued. Our community is fortunate to have your level of skill and commitment in our midst.

Marlee Larson