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Exploding paint cans alert homeowners to house fire in River Falls

The River Falls Fire Department, River Falls EMS and River Falls police responded to a 911 call for a house fire at 538 N. Pearl St. Monday afternoon, Nov. 25.

Gerry Hildebrandt said he was sitting at the top of the basement stairs of his River Falls home, 538 N. Pearl St., Monday afternoon, Nov. 25, when some cans of aerosol paint exploded and caught fire. 

Fire Chief Scott Nelson said heat from the flames of a basement house fire probably caused the cans to explode.

Hildebrandt and his wife, Alice, were in the house with two of their grandchildren when the fire started.

Nelson said everyone got out of the house safely. No one was injured.

A 911 call was made just before 3 p.m. Heavy smoke was coming from the house, but no flames were visible 10-15 minutes after the call. Nelson said firefighters got the fire under control about half an hour after arriving.

Four River Falls fire trucks and one ambulance responded to the 911 call. River Falls police also responded to the scene and kept the road clear of traffic.

Nelson said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

For more information, please see the Dec. 5 print edition of the River Falls Journal.