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Cause of duplex fire in Lincoln Park revealed

An overloaded electrical system caused the fire that extensively damaged a Lincoln Park duplex Monday morning. The three-story duplex at 2420 W. Second St. was wired with old knob-and-tube wiring. "The wiring itself isn't dangerous, but it's old ...

An overloaded electrical system caused the fire that extensively damaged a Lincoln Park duplex Monday morning.

The three-story duplex at 2420 W. Second St. was wired with old knob-and-tube wiring.

"The wiring itself isn't dangerous, but it's old wiring. When you get a large power draw you get resistance heating," Duluth Fire Marshal Marnie Grondahl said Tuesday. "When you have a bunch of extension cords, an air conditioner and fans you get more resistance heating."

Two people were home in the duplex's upper unit when the fire started. They fled after hearing a pop and smelling smoke. The fire was reported at 11:28 p.m. It took firefighters approximately two hours to completely extinguish the fire.

The building's third floor, attic and roof suffered extensive fire damage. The second floor sustained extensive water and smoke damage. Early estimates set the damages at a minimum of $40,000.

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The Northland Chapter of the American Red Cross is helping a family of five -- including four children between 11 and 15 years of age -- who were displaced by the fire.

"The Red Cross provided emergency housing, food and clothing for the family, as well as Red Cross comfort kits," Red Cross Disaster Action Team member Melinda Wittmer said. "At this time it appears that they lost everything in the fire."

Related Topics: FIRES
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