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Fire in Duluth's East Hillside neighborhood deemed arson

A fire at a Duluth apartment building this morning that sent at least four people to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation was intentionally set.

A fire at a Duluth apartment building this morning that sent at least four people to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation was intentionally set.

Duluth Fire Marshal Jim Reed told the News Tribune that the fire started on an apartment door that leads into a common hallway and that an accelerant was used. The case has been handed over to the Duluth Police Department's arson investigator.

The fire was very small and quickly extinguished, with only minor damage to the doorway and some carpeting, Reed said. But smoke from the fire sent four people from other units to be checked. Reed said their conditions did not appear to be serious.

The Red Cross is helping people displaced by the fire that happened in a six-plex at 823-825 E. First St.

According to the Duluth Fire Department, crews responded to a report of a fire in the building at 5:54 a.m. By the time firefighters arrived, the building had been evacuated and the fire in the first-floor apartment had been mostly extinguished.

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Residents of the apartment where the fire occurred were awake when it started, officials said, and were able to act quickly to keep the flames from spreading. At least four residents of the building were treated at a local emergency room for smoke inhalation; their condition is unknown. It was about 17 degrees below zero when the fire was reported.

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