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2010 fire damage: $528,000

Training, such as how to battle propane fires, is one of many firefighting activities.

Fire destroyed $528,000 worth of property in Alexandria last year but it could have been much worse.

Firefighters saved $337,000 from going up in smoke.

In addition, a fire that gutted an antique store on 6th Avenue in the heart of the city could have spread to other structures if not for firefighters' ability to contain it.

Those are just some of the highlights in the 2010 Alexandria Fire Department Annual Report presented to the Alexandria City Council Monday night.

Unlike the last council meeting when emotions ran high and a member was escorted out of the building, Monday's meeting had a respectful tone. There weren't even any split votes.

While giving his report, Jeff Karrow, who completed his first year as fire chief, told the council that it should be proud of its 30-member, all-volunteer department.

"These guys are spot on and exemplify the motto - professional, dedicated, role models," he said.

The fire department responded to 199 calls for service in 2010 - 13 less than the previous year but 12 more than in 2006, the last time the calls dipped below the 200 mark.

Fires to buildings accounted for the most damage, $489,000, while vehicle fires caused about $38,000 in damage. (The big fire at SunOpta was not included in the 2010 report because it happened in January 2011.)

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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