MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Authorities in St. Paul are crediting a tow truck driver for his quick response Monday night to a dumpster fire. Not only was a nearby business saved from the flames, but a suspect was also arrested.
The St. Paul Police Department says the 35-year-old tow truck driver reported the fire behind a tobacco store in a shopping center on the 2400 block of West Seventh Street, in the city’s Highland Park neighborhood.
The driver told police he saw a man light the dumpster on fire and run away. Immediately after, he hooked the dumpster up to his truck and towed it into the middle of the parking lot so that the flames wouldn’t burn the tobacco shop.
An actual dumpster fire.
Overnight, tow truck operator Dean Mathisen witnessed someone start the blaze, called @sppdmn and then moved the burning mass with his truck, so it didn’t engulf the building. The suspect was arrested. #DumpsterFire
— Guy Still (@mplstvguy) April 20, 2021
The driver also had the presence of mind to record his encounter with the dumpster fire, which he posted on TikTok early Tuesday morning. In the caption, the driver, who goes by the username Shreppy, said he “saved a shopping center” and used the hashtag #towninja, likely in reference to his quick action.
Police spokesman Steve Linders described the driver as a “hero.” He said responding firefighters dealt with the burning dumpster while an officer extinguished a smaller fire near the strip mall.
Not long after, officers apprehended a man fitting the suspect description a few blocks away, near the intersection of Maryland Drive and Stewart Avenue. The man was identified and arrested.
No one was hurt as a result of the fire and no buildings were damaged, Linders said. The dumpster fire left no marks on the tow truck.