Crews battle flames at homeless encampment in Duluth |

Crews battle flames at homeless encampment in Duluth

Updated: October 19, 2021 10:57 AM
Created: October 18, 2021 08:16 PM

Firefighters battled flames underneath the I-35 bridge in Duluth Monday night.

Crews arrived on scene to find heavy, black smoke billowing up near Railroad Street. It took Duluth firefighters about 20 minutes to put those flames out, but they say no injuries were reported.

"To this point, we searched all units," shared Assistant Fire Chief Dennis Edwards on scene. "We haven't found anybody, nobody claimed injury to this point, even though it's a dangerous situation with debris and drug paraphernalia."

Assistant Chief Edwards said the flames started at a homeless camp under the bridge, spreading to several sections under the freeway. Edwards explained that large piles of debris were fully engulfed, which included tents and bedding. Firefighters removed propane tanks, one of which they say had released propane and accelerated the fire.

An AMES construction crew helped firefighters by providing water from one of their tanker trucks so the DFD didn't have to lay hose lines across active railroad tracks.

BNSF shut down the tracks for the duration of the fire. 

Duluth police officers and Minnesota State Patrol troopers helped firefighters search for people.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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