Firefighters Battle Flames at Abandoned Duluth Church

The exact cause of the fire is under investigation

DULUTH, Minn. – Just after 4:30 p.m. Thursday evening the Duluth Fire Department was dispatched to the 900 block of East Third Street on reports of a structure fire at an abandoned church.

Upon arrival, crews witnessed heavy fire on the main floor of the former Crown Christian Family Church on the city’s East Hillside. At one point flames could be seen coming out the roof of the building and from the church steeple.

It took crews on scene just 15 minutes to put out the flames. Nearby resident watched on as strong flames and heavy smoke were seen shooting out of the vacant church.

“I could smell smoke, like our building was on fire,” said Steve Schmidt, who lives across the street. “We got our stuff and our dog together, came outside and found out it was the building next door.”

Fire officials don’t know the exact cause of the fire, however nearby residents tell us they’ve heard about people coming in and out of the building the last few days.

One of the first things we will do is check all the openings and see if they were secured or unsecured and what kind of evidence there will be of anybody inside,” said Erick Simonson, assistant chief of the Duluth Fire Department.

According to Saint Louis County Records, the church was purchased back in 2009.

No firefighters were injured. The cause of this incident is under investigation.

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