By Teri Knight, News Director
“It could’ve been a lot worse,” said Northfield Area Fire & Rescue Service Chief Gerry Franek of the kitchen fire at Chapati: Cuisine of India restaurant yesterday afternoon. Archer House General Manager Arianna Graves was grateful that most of the hotel guests were away at weddings at the time and, “The fire department was here so fast and responded just wonderful and were able to give us direction on what to do and where people should and should not be. Without them it would’ve been a whole lot more stressful. They were incredible.” Franek said the fire was isolated to the kitchen where a pan left unattended caught fire. The fire suppression on the hood of the stove deployed but didn’t put the fire out; however the sprinkler system did and that alerted the Archer House management
and the fire department. The sprinkler system was going for some time; firefighters were on scene for about 90 minutes, making sure the fire was completely out and then resetting the sprinkler system for the building. Both kitchens of Chapati and the Tavern are closed until further notice. Graves said the hotel started clean up last night: “We’re working on getting contractors out here. Servicemaster came out right away so we’re very thankful for that so right now is just getting the water out, waiting on insurance, the adjuster to come and assess the damage as well.” It could be two days to a week before the kitchen at the Tavern will re-open. The Archer House remains open for business as the only areas impacted by the fire were the two restaurant kitchens.
Roof collapses in Faribault due to rain
On Saturday afternoon, Faribault Fire, Police and North Memorial Ambulance responded to a report of a roof collapse around 4:30 p.m. at 306 Central Avenue. People attending a wedding ceremony at the 310 Event Center next door heard the collapse. Crews arrived to find the roof had collapsed through the second floor to the main level. The building was unoccupied at the time and no one was injured. Fire crews blocked off the area until the owner arrived. Firefighters gained access to assess the situation and shut off all utilities. The collapse was in the back/west side of the building and appears to be caused by rainwater that had accumulated on the roof. All surrounding structures and the affected building appeared to be structurally sound and people were allowed back into the buildings. The back of the building at 306 is what’s affected. Fire Chief Dustin Dienst said the mortgage advisor business in the front was in the process of moving to another location so there were no customers going in and out of the office. He commented, “We were very relieved to find the building empty at the time of the incident.”
Northfield woman sentenced for heroin possession
A Northfield woman busted on heroin charges in February pled guilty and was sentenced last Friday on 3rd degree drug possession in a public housing zone. 36-year-old Kristin Marie Westerman had been driving 37-year-old Jeremy Jacob Hagen to his drug deals. On multiple occasions, Hagen sold heroin to a confidential source. On February 6, 2019, Drug Task Force agents busted the pair at the Holiday gas station in Northfield and the next day agents searched 1210 Greenvale Avenue where Hagen and Westerman lived with their baby and her two other children. Westerman was sentenced to 33 months in Shakopee women’s prison; however, that sentence has been stayed for 5 years. As a convicted felon, she will be on supervised probation with multiple conditions for five years. Hagen pled guilty to 2nd degree drug sale in a public housing zone and will be sentenced August 28, 2019.
Intersection changes cause confusion
Clearly marked or not, Northfield residents are confused by the new traffic control changes on Washington Street at the intersections of 5th Street and 4th Street. There is a new all-way stop at Washington and 5th Street and a change at the 4th Street intersection, which was once an all-way stop and is now a minor controlled intersection meaning only those on 4th Street are required to stop. As the City wrapped up the mill and overlay project on Washington from 2nd to Woodley, a traffic study showed that it was necessary to make these changes. This information with accompanying graphics is on our website under the Community News page.
Fireworks tips and City display
With Independence Day on Thursday, Northfield Police Chief Monte Nelson reminds residents that legal fireworks can only be used on private property, not on city streets, parks or other public property. Some tips to be safe include having a water source or other extinguisher closely available while using fireworks. Be considerate of neighbors, pets and animals when using fireworks. The City of Northfield will present a fireworks display beginning at 10 p.m. on Thursday at the Northfield Middle School. While enjoying the display, Nelson asks that you please don’t block roads, streets, sidewalks, trails and driveways. This is one of the common complaints police hear from neighbors during the show. This information is also on the Community News page of our website.