A 52-year-old man died in a house fire Tuesday, Feb. 4, in Superior.

The name of the victim is being withheld until an official cause of death is determined, Superior Fire Chief Scott Gordon said. No other injuries were reported.

A passerby reported smoke in the area Tuesday night. Gordon said all three fire crews were quick to respond, but they did not have an exact address to respond to.

“So close to the East End Fire Station, you would expect there to be a better outcome to a fire like this,” Gordon said during a press conference Wednesday. He said the delayed response wasn’t in the driving time from point A to point B, but “in not knowing where point B was."

When they located the fire at 2532 E. Second St., a neighbor told the responding firefighters that one person lived at the home and his vehicle was still there.

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Superior Fire Chief Scott Gordon talks during a press conference Wednesday, Feb. 5, about the fire at 2532 E. Second St. that left one man dead.  (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)
Superior Fire Chief Scott Gordon talks during a press conference Wednesday, Feb. 5, about the fire at 2532 E. Second St. that left one man dead. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

Firefighters entered the home, removed the man from the burning structure and initiated lifesaving efforts before transferring him to Mayo Ambulance. Resuscitation efforts were not successful.

Gordon said the department has activated its critical incident stress management team in response to the fatality. The new chief has a young crew.

“This was several of our members’ first fire and, more, first fatal fire,” he said. “We don’t take that lightly.”

Fire crews battled the fire for approximately three hours. The home was a total loss.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but Gordon said it does not appear to be suspicious. Two members of the Office of State Fire Marshal are assisting in the investigation.

There were no audible smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors in the home, the fire chief said. He encouraged everyone to make sure they have working smoke detectors in their homes.

“Smoke detectors save lives. We say it all the time. This is a reality,” Gordon said.

Fire tape surrounds the house at 2523 E. Second St. on Wednesday morning, Feb. 5. A fatal Tuesday night structure fire at the home left one man dead.  (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)
Fire tape surrounds the house at 2523 E. Second St. on Wednesday morning, Feb. 5. A fatal Tuesday night structure fire at the home left one man dead. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

Free smoke detectors available

The American Red Cross of Northern Minnesota, which also covers Douglas County, provides free smoke detectors for area homes as part of a nationwide campaign to reduce fatalities and injuries from home fires. Since the program began in 2014, Red Cross volunteers have installed smoke detectors in 437 homes in Douglas County alone, according to Eric Adams, disaster program specialist with the American Red Cross of Northern Minnesota.

People whose smoke detectors are more than 10 years old are also eligible for the program, Adams said. It is recommended that smoke detectors be replaced every 10 years to ensure the sensors are working. If there is no manufacturing date listed on your smoke detectors, Adams said, they are more than 10 years old.

To request a free smoke detector installation or to volunteer with the program, call the main office during business hours at 218-722-0071.

This story was last updated at 5:33 p.m. Feb. 5. to correct the victim's age. It was originally posted at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 5.