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Sound the siren, committee approves state fire museum designation

A facility that honors men and women who put their lives on the line to save others could receive a state designation.

Rep. Sydney Jordan (DFL-Mpls) sponsors HF152 to appoint the Bill and Bonnie Daniels Fire Museum in Northeast Minneapolis as the state fire museum.

“There are museums in communities that deal with a single event like the Hinckley fire (of 1894)… but given the size and scope of our museum — over 12,000 square feet — there is not a similar fire museum in the state,” said Tom Brace, former state fire marshal and current museum chair.

The bill was approved 12-1 by the House State Government Finance and Elections Committee Friday and proverbially slid down the pole to the House Floor. Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) cast the lone “no” vote.

“Not only does this museum serve as an important site to talk about Minnesota’s history, the fire hall is also vital for teaching about fire safety and education,” Jordan said.

No state money is being sought; however, supporters note the designation would aid in fundraising efforts, such as obtaining grants and private sector money.

“There’s a wonderful history of the fire service in Minnesota and we need to capture and maintain it,” Brace said. 

Sen. Jeff Howe (R-Rockville) sponsors the companion, SF619. It awaits action by the Senate State Government Finance Policy and Elections Committee.

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