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UPDATE WEDNESDAY: VIDEO: Firefighters respond to Douglas Machine

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A sprinkler system at Douglas Machine helped stop a fire from spreading on Tuesday.

Alexandria firefighters responded to the roof fire at about 1 p.m. The facility at 3600 Minnesota Street is shared by Douglas Scientific on the north side and a division of Douglas Machine on the south side.


The Douglas Machine division experienced a small, contained fire after a forklift severed an LP gas line feeding a ceiling mounted heater.

A single ceiling sprinkler was triggered and the Alexandria Fire Department responded to the call, using its ladder truck to quickly contain the fire.

"If not for the sprinkler system, it could have been a lot worse," said Fire Marshal Dennis Stark. "The roof could have collapsed."

Employees from both sides of the company were evacuated for safety reasons.

The fire department completed its work and left an hour and a half later.

"It's back to work as usual today," said Rick Paulsen, president and chief operating officer at Douglas Machine, on Wednesday. "We are thankful for how well the incident was handled and especially that no one was hurt in the process. As always, we remain committed to the safety of our team and proactively preparing for emergencies such as these to ensure we stand ready to sup-port our clients."

Neither company experienced damage of any significance and production capabilities remain strong on both sides, according to company officials.

Amy Chaffins
Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper. After graduating from St. Cloud State University, Amy’s first job was at KSAX-TV working as an anchor and reporter. From 2003-2010, Amy worked as an editor and reporter for the Pope County Tribune and Starbuck Times newspapers. During her journalism career, Amy earned writing and photography awards from the Associated Press, Minnesota Newspaper Association and Society of Professional Journalists. Amy and her husband, Brandon, live in Alexandria and together write “He Sez, She Sez,” a humor column in the local women’s magazine, Chicz
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