Malfunctioning microwave leads to evacuation
From staff reports
Guardian Angels by the Lake in Elk River was evacuated Sunday after heavy smoke was in the lower level and the fire alarms activated.
The problem was traced to a malfunctioning microwave oven.
Guardian Angels by the Lake is an assisted living and memory care facility located at 13439 185th Lane.
Elk River fire and police departments were dispatched to the facility for a reported structure fire at about 12:45 p.m. Sunday, July 31, according to Elk River Fire Chief T. John Cunningham.
Upon arrival, they encountered heavy smoke on the first floor, Cunningham said.
The fire alarm system activated and Guardian Angels staff immediately began to evacuate the building.
With the source of the smoke not immediately identifiable, firefighters, police officers and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) crews assisted with evacuating the entire building, including the memory care unit.
Firefighters began searching for the source of the smoke and located the malfunctioning microwave oven in a first-floor apartment, Cunningham said. The microwave was removed from the building.
The building remained evacuated while crews ventilated the structure of smoke. Residents were able to return to the building within a short period of time, Cunningham said.
“I would like the commend the actions of the Guardian Angels staff for their prompt response and the handling of the situation,” he added. “They handled the situation with the utmost professionalism and were able to keep the residents calm during a very stressful situation.”
One resident was transported via ambulance after the incident on a medical call.