Fire burns two buildings in downtown Bayfield

Apartment building destroyed, realty office badly damaged in Saturday's blaze.

A building burns in Bayfield
An apartment building burns in Bayfield on Saturday, April 16, 2021.
Contributed / Jonathon Lamkin

BAYFIELD โ€” A fire in Bayfield on Saturday burned an apartment building "to the ground" and spread to the building next to it, according to an eyewitness.

Joseph Newago, a waiter at the Manypenny Bistro a block away from the fire, told the News Tribune by phone that the fire caused the apartment building at 239 Manypenny Ave. to collapse.

He said he was unaware of anyone injured in the blaze. The Bayfield Police Department, Bayfield County Sheriff's Department and Bayfield community Fire and Ambulance did not immediately respond to calls from the News Tribune.

The Ashland Daily Press, citing firefighters on the scene, said a police officer and firefighter were treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation.

The fire spread to the building next door, 39 S. Broad St., which is owned by Esme Martinson, who bought the building last month with her fiance Josh Pearson. Martinson, a real estate agent, told the News Tribune that she was going to use the commercial space for a brokerage she had just started. Martinson said a tenant also lived on the second floor and that they had made it out safely.


At about 2:45 p.m., she described the fire as "smoldering." While she was not sure how bad the damage was, she expects it to be significant.

"The other building fell on our building โ€” on the south side," Martinson said. "And both sides look pretty burnt, and they vented the roof and it's been filled with water."

The destroyed apartment building was one of the oldest buildings in town and used to be along the waterfront before it was pulled by horses and rolled over logs to its current location, the Bayfield Heritage Association wrote in a Facebook post.

This story was updated at 6:20 p.m. April 16 with additional information from the Ashland Daily Press and Bayfield Heritage Association. It was originally posted at 3:33 p.m. April 16.

Jimmy Lovrien covers energy, mining and the 8th Congressional District for the Duluth News Tribune. He can be reached at or 218-723-5332.
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