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One residential room damaged in fire at Green Pine Acres

One residential room was damaged, but there were no injuries. 1 / 5
Menahga Police Chief Scott Koennicke consults with Greenwood Connections Adminstrator Laura Ahlf (right) and City Administrator Janette Bower.2 / 5
Firefighters cut away burnt material from the roof to ascertain that the fire was completely smothered and to prevent any flare-ups.3 / 5
Firefighters from Menahga, Sebeka and Wolf Lake responded to the fire at Green Pine Acres Monday morning. (Photos by Shannon Geisen/Enterprise)4 / 5
Firefighters cut away burnt material from the roof to ascertain that the fire was completely smothered and to prevent any flare-ups.5 / 5

At approximately 10:15 a.m. Monday, a fire was reported at Green Pine Acres, the city-owned nursing home in Menahga.

Greenwood Connections Administrator Laura Ahlf said a staff member first detected smoke. When maintenance crew investigated, they discovered a small fire in the attic area by an old generator on the north end of Green Pine Acres. Ahlf called 9-1-1.

Three hallways were evacuated, largely due to smoke. Sixty-three residents were moved to a southern wing of the building, she said. School buses were ready to transport them to another location, if need be. Fire drills are practiced monthly, Ahlf said, and all went according to plan.

Numerous agencies responded to the call, including the Menahga, Sebeka and Wolf Lake Fire Departments, Menahga Police Department and the Wadena County Sheriff. The fire was quickly contained. Damage was contained to one residential room. No injuries were reported.

Menahga City Administrator Janette Bower arrived to provide "moral support" for Ahlf.

"All their processes worked," Bower said of the nursing home's regular fire drills.

Greenwood Connections currently has 75 kW and 80 kW generators, dating from 1975 and the 1980s. In May, the city council approved a $109,366 quote from Zenergy to purchase and install a Cummins 230kW, three-phase generator for the main service of the nursing home and the new addition.

Zenergy was onsite Monday, removing one of the two existing generators, when the fire broke out. Preliminary findings are that an exhaust pipe on the old, remaining generator overheated and ignited the roof, Ahlf said. The generator remained operational during the fire.

Using a power saw, firefighters removed any smoldering roof material and cleared space around the pipe to ensure nothing flared up.

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