The Duluth Fire Department responded to a fire at a church building in the city's East Hillside neighborhood late Thursday afternoon.
Some streets in the area were closed as crews battled the flames at 901 E. Third St., which Assistant Fire Chief Erik Simonson said has been vacant for a number of years. It was not immediately clear whether the building was currently home to a congregation.
The fire department was called to the building at about 4:40 p.m. and remained on scene until about 7:30 p.m. Crews arrived to find heavy fire on the second floor at the front of the church that extended up the building’s exterior, Simonson said. At the scene, firefighters worked to cut holes in the exterior of the building to access the flames.
The flames were extinguished quickly, which limited the damage, but the fire got into a lot of “hidden spots” in the building’s interior and firefighters had to do a lot of work to extinguish the smoldering areas.
Damages are estimated at about $75,000, Simonson said. No one was inside the building at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported, he said. The fire’s origin and cause was being investigated on Thursday night.
County property records indicate the building dates to 1900; a News Tribune article from 1909 referenced the Bethel Swedish Church on that corner.
In more recent years, from the 1990s into the early 2000s, the building housed Crown Christian Family Church. In 2009 it was sold by Crown Ministries to a new owner.