WI fire department helps battle fire at condemned hotel for 7 hours in sub-zero temps

Local News

DULUTH, Minn. (WFRV) – The Superior Fire Department was asked to assist in trying to put out a fire at the former Seaway Hotel all the while temperatures reportedly reached -35 degrees.

According to the Duluth Minnesota Fire Department, on Jan. 10 around 7:30 a.m. crews responded to smoke coming from the Esmond Building (formerly the Seaway Hotel). When crews arrived they reported heavy fire on the first floor of the building.

Just after 7:45 a.m., multiple crews were removed from the building due to unsafe conditions and heavy amounts of fire. Around 8:30 a.m. authorities decided they would need more resources to keep the fire contained to the Esmond Building.

At 8:45 a.m., the Minnesota Fire Department called Superior Fire to ask for assistance in fighting the fire. The Superior Fire Department was reportedly able to provide a 100-foot tower aerial apparatus.

Officials say that just before 9:30 a.m., the wall on the rear side of the building was reported to be separating and heavy fire could be seen inside. Authorities then contacted Minnesota Power and told them to cut off power in the alley due to the ice building and possible collapse.

Power was reportedly restored around 3 p.m.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. four aerials deployed water in the four corners and core of the building. Authorities say that because of the cold temperatures, there were multiple challenges.

Crews had the help thaw and keep hydrants open so that the water could flow. Public Works crews helped by providing sand to create dikes that diverted water from businesses in the area.

Temperatures reportedly ranged from -11 to -35 degrees below zero with the wind chill.

The building was abandoned and slated to be torn down for new housing.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, and no additional information was provided.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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