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St. Louis Park Responds to HVAC Fire at Jerry's Foods

Jerry's Foods was closed for two days as the grocery store was ventilated and contaminated food items discarded.

A small fire in the HVAC duct system of Jerry's Foods caused smoke contamination and damage in the store's grocery area Friday morning.

Jerry's was closed on Friday and Saturday as the Department of Agriculture helped the grocer decided which food items needed to be discarded.

"We had to get the store ventilated so it would be safe shopping experience for our customers," store manager Randy Drescher said. "A lot of the open, exposed products in the bakery and produce departments had to be removed from the store."

An employee arrived at Jerry's around 2 a.m. on Jan. 3 to start his shift and called 911 after finding heavy smoke in the basement.

Fire crews from Edina, Hopkins, Minnetonka, Richfield and St. Louis Park came to the grocery store.

Embers and heat were found in the HVAC system and the surrounding area around—near the store's loading dock—suffered smoke and water damage.

“We are very lucky an employee caught this when they did,” Interim Edina Fire Chief Darrell Todd said in a statement. “The HVAC system could have fanned the embers, growing the fire and causing it to spread quickly.”

Jerry's Foods re-opened Sunday morning. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. 

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