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potential to ignite the fumes at the site of the rupture. Firefighters then established a perimeter of hoses for a worst-case scenario and worked with Wright County Sheriff’s deputies to evacuate homes along Oak Avenue and 1st Street, in addition to the post office, Maple Lake Lumber, and the businesses on the east side of Birch Avenue. At about 11:30 a. m., the evacuation was expanded to the entire downtown business area and St. Timothy’s School, with students taken by bus to the Maple Lake Elementary gym. Trains were stopped by the Canadian Pacific Railroad from passing through Maple Lake while utility crews worked on the rupture. At about 7 p. m., residents and business owners were allowed back into the restricted area.
In 2008 the Maple Lake Fire Department was honored for its life-saving skills when responding to a heart-attack emergency by the Heart Safe Communities program. Sherryl Conzet of Maple Lake Township was the 10th heart attack survivor of the program and among those honored for their efforts in Conzet’s case were Todd Borell, Bob Polsfuss, Bart Lauer and Tom Blizil of the Maple Lake Fire Department.
The care and consideration extended by members of the Maple Lake Fire Department have always been appreciated with words of thanks from grateful fire and accident victims often appearing in the pages of the Maple Lake Messenger.
On the last day of school in June of 2011, Maple Lake High School junior Aaron Carlson was critically injured in a crash at the east end of Maple Lake on Highway 55. He was flown by air ambulance to North Memorial Hospital and the actions of emergency personnel were credited with saving his life. Despite a severe brain injury, Aaron persevered and achieved his goal of graduating with the MLHS Class of 2012. In addition, his remarkable comeback led to his selection as a KARE-11 Academic All-Star. After the 2011 crash, Aaron’s mother, Sue Bartz, wrote the following message on his CaringBridge website:
“We are so thankful for all the concern everyone has shown for Aaron,” Sue said. “We would especially like to thank the Maple Lake Fire Department, EMTs and Paramedics, Allina Ambulance, the Wright County Sheriff’s Office, the Annandale Police Department, the Minnesota State Patrol, North Memorial AirCare and the North Memorial Trauma Center for everything they did (on June 3, 2011). Their