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DULUTH - The building manager of Duluth's
Kozy Apartments, standing outside of the structure on Saturday, aired
his suspicions about the previous night's smoky flames.
"It's the sad part of a sad story but the fire I can tell is 100% arson,” Andrey Zhuikov said.
Duluth Firefighters estimated $50,000 worth in damage to the building they have responded to three times since November of 2010.
The fire sparked in a building, which was not supplied with electricity, around 8 p.m. Saturday night.
the smoke cleared, the damaged items belonged mostly to Duluth's Occupy
group who was using the space for storage of equipment they once put up
outside of city hall.
Passerbys thought at first that the smoke they smelled could have been coming from an Occupy Duluth campfire.
nephew] said 'it smells like plastic burning too'. And I thought maybe
it's the old Kozy and as I'm walking by we notice smoke coming out of
the cracks and doors of the old laundry room,” Joedy Nebola, a neighbor
who first saw the fire, said.
The after a night of ventilation, the soggy basement sits blackened.
person who did this fire, he must answer the question why and what was
he doing up here for what reason? So it's sick. The person must
absolutely be mentally sick or something,” Zhuikov said.
Zhuikov says this is the second arson at the Kozy Apartments in less than two years.
The giant fire that emptied the building, however, happened during November of 2010.
we don't have any power up there. The only thing it could be is someone
with matches or something sparking it up,” Zhuikov said.
do have camera and we will see pretty soon what's happened, who walked,
and we can see pretty soon their faces on the picture,” Zhuikov said.
Surprisingly, people from Occupy Duluth may have been damaged from this fire more than the structure itself, Zhuikov said.
"It was a lot of storage from the occupy people where they've been keeping sleeping bags and tarps,” Zhuikov said.
As far as occupants in the building, Firefighter report they found none but rumors persist about squatters getting cozy inside.
This fire, however, neighbors blame on a newcomer to the area who was acting suspicious only hours before smoke was reported.
spend so much money and then one person come around and light it up and
it's money for nothing. Just takes it,” Zhuikov said.
No injuries were reported from last night's fire.