A housefire can reach around 1500 degrees in just a few minutes, and now there is a tool available that can reduce that temperature by 1000 degrees in about 30 seconds. When Freemason Dayton Burg, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, A.F. & A.M saw a demonstration of the Fire Suppression Tool (FST) in Milwaukee a few years ago he said, “We need these in Minnesota.”
Since that time, the Freemasons have invested in their local communities by purchasing 150 FSTs, presenting them to first responder units all over Minnesota. Most recently, at an event at the Taconite Lodge #342 in Silver Bay on December 5th, three local fire departments received an FST.
The device is an incredible feat in ingenuity and is set by pulling out two pins and throwing them into the building that is on fire. The FST is a condensed aerosol-based system that extinguishes and suppresses fires in seconds. It’s non-toxic, non-corrosive, and doesn’t displace the oxygen, which increases the odds of someone being able to escape the home and allows firefighters to enter at a lesser risk.
“To be honest with you, I was pretty skeptical” Freemason Jim Christiansen said, addressing the firefighters. Christiansen is a retired arson investigator for the City of Duluth. He attended a demonstration over this past summer held at the Lake Superior College Emergency Response Training Center. He stated that he was blown away.
“It’s very impressive to see how something that small can reduce the temperature in a working fire from 1300 degrees and drop it 1000 degrees in 30 seconds,” he said. “It’s beyond belief. It’s that good.”
The event was attended by district and regional Freemason representatives from all over the state. “The grand lodge is proud to be part of this program,” Burg said.
Dave Houle, Master of the Two Harbors Lodge and member of the Silver Bay Lodge, participated in the event. Houle expressed his pride in the charitable contributions of Masonry, recounting a time when the organization could donate an impressive $10 million daily to various charities, emphasizing that such philanthropy is rooted in doing “the right thing.”
Two Harbors, Grand Marais, and Silver Bay Fire Department representatives all expressed their gratitude as they were each presented with an FST. As Dan Morsette, the current Master of the Silver Bay lodge, shook hands with the Silver Bay recipients saying, “I hope you never have to use it!” (However, if they do, it is covered by the home insurance of the victim of the fire, speaking to how much damage is reduced by using the tool.)
The Freemasons of Minnesota hope to continue to disperse FSTs to communities around the state over the coming year. The commitment to community safety displayed by the Freemasons through this donation exemplifies their dedication to making a positive impact beyond the walls of their lodges, ensuring the protection and well-being of the broader community they serve.