The Duluth Fire Department worked to extinguish a fire in the basement of a former furniture building in Duluth's Lincoln Park neighborhood Tuesday afternoon.
According to city spokesperson Kate Van Daele, crews received a call around 12:26 p.m. of smoke coming out of the former Robert's Home Furnishings building at 2102 W. Superior St. Due to the size of the building and fire load potential, three more fire companies were called to the scene. Approximately 30 firefighters from seven stations responded to the call.
Crews arrived to find heavy smoke venting from an elevator penthouse on the roof, but had difficulty finding the origin of the fire due to a challenging floor layout and a number of businesses that had occupied the building.
Van Daele said crews were on site still at 1:50 p.m. trying to extinguish the fire in the basement of the building, which they had trouble getting to. She said they cut holes in the floor as a way to reach the fire. It took a couple of hours to vent the building of heat and smoke and ensure the fire was extinguished.
The building is three buildings combined into one and is slated to be demolished in the next few months to prepare for construction of a 75-unit, four-story affordable apartment building, Van Daele said. It was not occupied at the time of the fire. The damages are estimated to be around $50,000.
The Duluth Fire Department's Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.
This story was updated with information from the City of Duluth at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 19. It was originally published at 2:18 p.m. Jan. 19.