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Forum News Service, Published July 04 2013

Fire destroys building, injures two people at resort

DULUTH -- A fast-moving blaze destroyed a building and injured two people Wednesday afternoon at the Lake Breeze Motel Resort on the North Shore.

Duluth Assistant Fire Chief Erik Simonson said one of the people transported to a hospital suffered “very minor injuries.” He didn’t know the condition of the second victim other than that she had suffered burns.

Guests said the building destroyed contained the resort’s office, gift shop, sauna and two motel units. Several people reported hearing an explosion before the fire.

Simonson said the front 50 to 60 percent of the office building was fully involved when the first firefighters arrived on the scene, with more flames toward the rear of the building.

According to guests, the two motel units destroyed were rented but not occupied at the time.

Firefighters were still trying to extinguish the fire at 3 p.m. They were hindered somewhat by the fact that only one water line supplies the area. While it had good pressure, Simonson said, it can provide only so many gallons of water per minute.

“It slows us down, but this building was probably going to be a total loss anyway. We succeeded in our objective, which was to save this building,” he said, referring to a neighboring building with resort units.

A cause has not been determined yet, he said.