Alborn Fire Chief Discusses Fatal Tanker Fire Response, Training

We’re learning more about that fatal fire fight involving a tanker that rolled Saturday in New Independence Township.

The Alborn Fire Department was the lead agency and first on the scene.

Fire Chief Jack Carlson told FOX 21 Sunday that the big rig was fully engulfed when his crews arrived on scene.

The tanker spilled diesel and gasoline, according to Carlson.

The biggest goal was to contain the fire, which involved a lot of foam.

Chief Carlson said this type of scene is rare but something he and surrounding agencies are prepared to handle it.

“Training is vital. I mean, that is number one with our departments. We try to train two to three times a month,” Carlson said. “So when we are on scene, everything goes as fluid as possible. There are no hiccups. Everybody know what needs to happen. And that’s basically the best thing, the relationships that we have between departments.”

Carlson said everything went smoothly between other agencies, like Grand Lake Volunteer Fire Department, the St. Louis County Rescue Squad and Minnesota State Patrol.

Carlson said the incident will be a learning experience, as happens with other calls they encounter.

“Every month at our meetings we debrief, and we talk about what happens on the calls, what we could have done different, what would have made things better, what we could have changed for a different outcome,” Carlson said.

As for the investigation into the crash, it’s being led by the Minnesota State Patrol.  The driver of the semi who died is identified as Xavier Henson, 31, of Grand Rapids.

The state patrol said Henson was traveling north on Hwy 33 when he was unable to negotiate the curve heading onto Hwy 53 and then rolled.

The trucking company’s name has not been released.

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