Lutsen Lodge fire still under investigation, public asked to stay away from scene
UPDATE: Jen Longaecker, Deputy Communications Director for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, has released the following statement to clarify the previously used term “crime scene”:
The cause of the fire at the Lutsen Resort Main Lodge is still under investigation. We apologize that we were not clear in our communication earlier today. We are working to preserve the integrity of the fire scene and keep people safe by asking them to stay out of the area. Anyone who puts their own safety at risk or enters a potential crime scene will be detained.
It is still too early to determine whether this fire started accidentally or was set intentionally. We are asking the public to stay away from the area.
The area around the lodge was secured to limit access for safety concerns around an unstable fire debris and structural items, including chimney stacks. The area is also secure to preserve the scene for the ongoing investigation.
Original Story: The Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office issued a release on Friday, February 9th saying the area of the Lutsen Resort main lodge is an “official crime scene”. The public is forbidden from entering the area without permission.
Sheriff’s deputy will be patrolling the area, and anyone found within the taped perimeter will be detained.
The Fire Marshal’s Office said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The historic lodge on Minnesota’s North Shore was destroyed by a fire overnight between February 5th and 6th.
Minnesota regulators said Wednesday that the lodge had three unresolved violations from a recent fire code inspection, but it wasn’t clear if those violations played a role in the blaze.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says the State Fire Marshal division performed an inspection in July and found seven violations. The agency says the property owner repaired four of them, but says it’s too early to determine if the outstanding violations “played a role in the fire.”