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State Fire Marshal

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

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Investigators help business owners find closure after unrest

Two fire investigators and a police officer

It's safe to say a lot of things changed the day George Floyd was murdered. Angry people made their voices heard in the Twin Cities – but some turned to dangerous, destructive behaviors, like setting fires. A total of 164 arsons caused millions (possibly billions) of dollars in damage to local business. Those local business owners deserve to know that the arsonists will be held accountable for the destruction they've caused. Check out this DPS blog​ to learn how SFMD fire investigators worked with their local and federal counterparts in the Twin Cities for several weeks to help bring closure to a suffering community.​​​

An important reminder about gasoline

A train car on its side and parts scattered on the ground after a derailment

Leaving open containers of gasoline sitting while working on vehicles is a bad idea. 

People have died, been injured and lost their homes, garages and cars because they didn't consider the dangers and take them seriously. 

Here are some important reminders:

  • Gasoline vapors are extremely flammable and can easily travel 12 feet away from an open container or pool.  Warmer temperatures and enclosed spaces can contribute to vapor spread. 

  • Spilled gasoline should be cleaned up immediately using commercial “floor dry," kitty litter, or absorbent dirt if nothing else is available.

  • Gasoline drained from a vehicle should immediately be placed in an approved vapor-suppressing container.  Most fires that occur during vehicle repairs will occur within 45 minutes of the gas being drained. 

  • Do not leave gasoline in an open-top container while you work on a vehicle.

  • Ventilation is key when working on a vehicle fuel system.

  • Keep a UL approved ABC powder extinguisher present nearby. 

  • Do not attempt to extinguish a fuel fire with water.

A few minutes could save your life

Photo of mad pug

Smoke alarms save lives — both humans and animals — but only if they work.

People die every year in Minnesota homes without working smoke alarms. Those deaths are preventable.

Take a few minutes each month to test your smoke alarms. All it takes is a push of a button to potentially save your life. More information about smoke alarms is available in this fact sheet. ​​

Featured Video

Video Description: Most smoking-related fire deaths happen inside homes where a smoker improperly extinguishes a cigarette. This video explains how tragedy strikes.