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Fire damages Duluth's NorShor Theatre

A fire caused about $15,000 in damage early Friday morning at the NorShor Theatre on East Superior Street in Duluth, the Duluth Fire Department reported.

An automatic fire alarm alerted firefighters at 4:26 a.m. They found smoke inside the building and smoke coming from a window on an upper story. The fire was contained to a single room and firefighters said they believe a failed blower motor for the building's heating system is to blame.

Firefighters from three companies responded.

There was damage in the room and "moderate" smoke in other parts of the building, the department reported.

The NorShor is set for renovations that are expected to cost $22 million. The project is part of Duluth's state bond money request in the state legislative session that begins Feb. 25. It is asking for about $5 million. The developer, Sherman Associates, is expected to come up with $15.5 million while the city, through the Duluth Economic Development Authority and a fundraising campaign kicked off last fall, will invest more than $2 million.

Plans are for work on the theater to begin in the summer, with a completion goal set for the end of 2015.