Downtown Duluth Fire Destroys Building, City Orders Demolition

DULUTH, Minn. — A structure fire that broke out around 2:05 Friday morning on East First Street of downtown Duluth was reported to be out at around 8:30 but crews are still trying to find out how it started.

The Duluth Fire Department was on site responding within minutes officials report surrounding buildings were not visibly damaged, and are assessing the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial, which was right next to the burning building.

Crews believe the fire started on the second floor, of the three story building.

The former pawn shop was condemned for habitation with all utilities cut off last November.

The city now condemns it for demolition Monday, giving the owner 30 days to tear it down.

“My biggest concern is operating in some of these vacant buildings because we don’t necessarily know the conditions inside the building, with a building that is vacant there’s typically very few ways to get into the building or it may be a restricted way to get into the building so that adds another layer of things that we need to think about,” Jon Otis, Deputy Chief of Life Safety said.

No one was hurt in this fire but the origin of it is still under investigation.

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