Update: Fire damages the engine house at the Soudan Mine State Park

Firefighters battled a fire at the Soudan Underground Mine State Park near Tower on Tuesday morning. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says the damage will not impact the reopening of the underground mine tours for the general public on May 25.

According to the Northland Fire Wire, a call went out around 11:30 a.m. that a fire was found at the engine house of the mine.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources confirmed the fire was in the attic space of the engine house. A representative from the DNR says “the fire was caused by heat generated from the resistance grids for the electric motor for the hoist” and that repairs will not be significant. The hoist was not damaged.

The building sustained minor damage including broken windows from venting and there is some smoke damage. Crews will be inspecting the ceiling beams.

Three employees were checked on site by local EMS, according to the DNR. One person was brought to a local hospital for smoke inhalation, but returned to the park shortly after. A second person sought medical attention for an eye injury.

The Breitung Township, Tower and Greenwood Fire Departments responded along with the Tower Ambulance Service.

According to the Minnesota DNR’s website, the Engine House is one of the oldest buildings on the site, dating back to 1892. You can read more about the Soudan Underground Mine State Park here.

The cause of the fire is under investigation