Northlanders react to latest fire in Downtown Duluth

Emily Ness
Updated: November 22, 2020 05:38 PM
Created: November 21, 2020 03:55 PM

Three weeks after the Kozy apartment building caught fire in Downtown Duluth, a second building on the same block went up in flames Saturday morning.

Firefighters spent much of the day battling the fire on East First Street in what used to be an antique and bike shop, but was currently being used as a warehouse. Northlanders on scene shared their thoughts.

Joel Heller of Duluth said the scene was familiar having watched the Kozy apartment building burn last month.

“As a Duluthian, it’s just heartbreaking that another building is on fire,” Heller said.

Heller commended firefighters for their efforts then and now.

“Look at how brave these guys are. I mean, I'm proud of the fire department, we all have to be proud of the fire department,” Heller said.

David Brown of Duluth said he was sad to see another Downtown Duluth building burn.

“You know, this is all part of my youth, which is long past, but when you see something you are used to looking at for 70 years burn, you feel a loss,” Brown said.

That loss is something Jake Blood, an employee at Summit Companies who happened to be on scene of the fire, said could have potentially been avoided with a sprinkler system.

“We had a fire earlier this morning at Gateway Tower and I just talked with the fire department and they were in and out of there in a half hour because the building was fully sprinkled. One head went off and no problem. Here, no sprinkler system,” Blood said.

While crews worked to put out the flames, a portion of First Street was closed to traffic. Eventually, the roof of the building collapsed. But, the total extent of damage is not yet known.

There were no injuries to report. The cause of the fire is under investigation. 


Emily Ness

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