Grand Forks Fire Station 5 reopening after closing for disinfecting

The fire station closed Tuesday after the fire department learned one of its firefighters had tested positive for COVID-19. The fire station, serving the far south side of Grand Forks, is reopening the evening of Wednesday, May 6.

Fire Station No. 5 in Grand Forks
The new Fire Station No. 5 in Grand Forks, ND on Wednesday, March 23, 2016. The fire station will begin full operation on Sunday. (Joshua Komer/Grand Forks Herald)

Grand Forks Fire Station 5 will reopen for service at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 6, after being closed Tuesday for disinfecting. The closure came after the fire department learned Monday night that a firefighter had tested positive for COVID-19. Grand Forks Public Health has determined that the source of the firefighter's infection was through community spread, meaning they are unable to pinpoint exactly how he was infected.

Grand Forks Fire Chief Gary Lorenz said he had spoken Wednesday with the firefighter who tested positive as well as two other firefighters who came into contact with him, who all are isolating at home. He said the firefighter who tested positive is feeling well with mild symptoms, and the other two firefighters remain asymptomatic.

"But that could change at any moment," Lorenz said.

Following the deep disinfecting of the fire station, Lorenz said firefighters will continue to emphasize social distancing during their shifts. They will also continue to wear personal protective equipment on all calls and the station will continue to be closed to the public.


A spokesperson from the North Dakota Joint Information Center told the Herald Wednesday that a mass test targeting first-responders will be scheduled in Grand Forks at a to-be-determined date. First-responders were invited to be tested at a previous targeted testing event, but Lorenz said he is aware of no firefighters who received positive test results after that mass test.

"You know, this whole event is a challenge for all of us," Lorenz said. "When I say all of us I mean everyone. It impacts us all, whether it's our families, our businesses, where we work, there's no playbook for it. As you're aware, it's a significant challenge keeping everybody safe, and we have our unique challenges here at the fire station, as well."

What To Read Next
Get Local