UPDATES: Old Seaway Hotel Building In Duluth’s Lincoln Park Heavily Damaged By Fire
UPDATE 2:04 pm 1/10/22:
Officials with the Duluth Fire Department shared that after nearly 7 hours of firefighting, the main fire at the Esmond Building is out. Crews will remain on the scene to put out hotspots.
Crews from Minnesota Power are also on the scene to evaluate power lines behind the building. As noted below in this post, power was disrupted to customers in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, first to nearly 3,000 customers in the area, slowly restored through the day.
UPDATE 1:30 pm 1/10/22:
Power has been restored to portions of the area in Lincoln Park that was initially shut off to aid in firefighting efforts. Minnesota Power is reporting a small outage area around the scene of the fire, currently impacting an estimated 57 customers in a few blocks in the immediate area around the fire. The initial power disruption impacted nearly 3,000 customers in a larger surrounding area. Minnesota Power's website currently has an estimated time of 4:30 when power might be restored to the remaining customers impacted by the outage.
Aerial firefighting efforts continue into the afternoon hours at the scene of the old Seaway Hotel building. The Duluth Fire Department shared that while these efforts continue, they released some crews from the scene, including an aerial firefighting unit from Superior Fire Department.
Three remaining Duluth aerial units remain on the scene to continue putting water on the fire.
While it was announced earlier in the day that the roof of the building had collapsed, crews continued to work to prevent the spread of the fire to surrounding buildings. These firefighting efforts have been made much more difficult by the cold conditions present in the Twin Ports area today. As explained in a tweet from earlier this afternoon, crews rotated from putting water on the fire to warming up with subzero temperatures and frigid windchills adding to safety concerns for crews on the scene.
UPDATE 11:45 am 1/10/22:
Officials have evacuated some nearby buildings including business and residential spaces as a precautionary measure. The Duluth Fire Department called in support from the Superior Fire Department for mutual aid in fighting the fire.
Around 10:00 am, it was reported that the roof of the Esmond building collapsed.
The power has also been shut off to the odd addresses on West Superior Street and even addresses on West 1st street between 18th Avenue West and 22nd Avenue West during firefighting efforts. Minnesota Power's website has an estimated power restoration timeframe of 1:30 pm, but this may change.
Our news partners at WDIO report that the building on fire, known as the Esmond Building, was condemned and scheduled for demolition. The building, which is also known to many as the old Seaway Hotel, also suffered a smaller fire in December. The cause of today's fire remains undetermined, but the previous fire was deemed accidental, caused by a homeless person in the building.
ORIGINAL STORY 8:30 1/10/22:
The Duluth Fire Department are on the scene of a structure fire in the Lincoln Park neighborhood Monday morning.
Crews were called to the scene of the Esmond Building on West Superior Street at 7:36 Monday morning, finding what officials called a "heavy amount of fire" on the first floor of the building.
Just after 8 am, fire officials say the blaze spread to the second floor toward the rear of the building. As of that update from the department, crews has been pulled from inside the building due to unsafe conditions.
The Duluth Fire Department is asking the public to stay away from the area of 20th and 21st Avenue West and West Superior Street as crews battle the fire.
The cause of the fire and any other details are not available at this time. We will update this post as more information becomes available.