Fire crews battle subzero temps in Kemps blaze

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ROCHESTER, Minn — Rochester fire crews were battling a blaze in frigid temperatures Saturday night and it was indoors.

They were called to the Kemps Ice Cream plant just after 6:30 p.m. where they found that flames in the company’s “flash-freezer.”

It is a multi-level room that is built like a freezer with no openings and a few doors. The air temperature in that area is supposed to be maintained at 40 degrees below zero.

Crews were rotating out because of water freezing on their equipment.

“When they first made entry in the freezer they couldn’t see anything so they used their thermal imaging cameras to finally locate the fire after they snaked their way around enough stuff inside the freezer. They used a search rope so they wouldn’t lose their way,” said Battalion Chief Chris Jungels of the Rochester Fire Department.

They say it started on some cardboard and pallets under a catwalk where a contractor was working.

Those with Kemps tell us that the damage was minimal and it will not impact business moving forward.

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