Warehouse Fire Destroys Two Buildings In North End District Of Superior
Update: 9:25 am 1/6/22
While the smoke plume has dissipated significantly from what it was this morning, the fire continues to burn at the old warehouse site. The Superior Fire Department issued a reminder to the public, asking them to stay away from the area as firefighting efforts continue through the day.
Update: 8:52 am 1/6/22
Superior Mayor Jim Paine took to his Facebook page Thursday morning to offer more details on the fire in Superior's North End.
In his update, he explained that the fire started early Thursday morning in the Severson building (the old Lake Superior Fish building) and then spread to the nearby Bayside building as the fire collapsed the first building. Mayor Paine calls both buildings a complete loss.
You can see the Severson building on the right side of this Google Street View image, along with the other building impacted by the fire on the left.
Paine went on in his post to say officials don't believe anyone as injured or killed during the fire, though he admits that sometimes vacant buildings "can attract people escaping the cold", so he still has some concern about the potential of loss of life.
The mayor called the loss of these two buildings "a terrible tragedy", going on to say "They were both priceless pieces of historic architecture and both had potential for new life. I’m deeply sorry for the loss to the owners and to our community."
As of the time of his update, the smoke plume has significantly subsided, but is still visible from Duluth and elsewhere in the area. Paine said that while the fire is expected to burn through the day, the public is safe from any hazards. In his discussions with both the Superior Fire Department and the National Weather Service, he was told the smoke plume should remain pretty contained to the area near the fire, creating minimal risk to the public.
He concluded his statement explaining that while the Blatnik Bridge was closed for a time earlier this morning due to heavy smoke and visibility concerns, it will remain open through the remainder of the day.
Update: 7:50 am 1/6/22
After being closed for part of the morning, the Blatnik Bridge has been reopened. The fire is near the Superior base of the bridge, leading to a closure for a time. The reason for the closure was due to visibility concerns as the thick plume of smoke from the nearby fire could make it hard for motorists to see as they used the bridge.
A large plume of smoke continues to be visible over the Superior skyline as crews continue to battle the blaze. As of the time of this update, the cause of the fire remains unknown.
Despite the temporary closure, North 3rd Street connecting downtown Superior to Highway 2 have remained open through the morning.
The building is identified by the Duluth News Tribune as a four-story brick building at the address of 1507 N. First Street in Superior. The 48,000 square foot warehouse building was built in 1890. serving for a time as Lake Superior Fish Co. It is currently owned by Duluth/Superior Concrete Services LLC and is listed for sale on the Follmer Commercial Real Estate website for $795,000.
A large plume of smoke can still be seen as of 7:40 Thursday morning, as seen below. Looking lower on the plume, you can see the glow from flames of the fire.
Check back for additional updates as they become available.
Original post: 7:15 am 1/6/22
*This is a developing story: There is a warehouse fire in the north end district of Superior.
Details are still scarce at this time but the Superior Police Department shared some details very early on Thursday morning (January 6th). They are asking motorists to avoid the Blatnik Bridge, as it is closed. They say the safety hazards from the fire are changing rapidly and smoke from the fire might limit visibility for those that usually take the Blatnik Bridge.
They are asking motorists to reroute to the Bong Bridge if the Blatnik Bridge is part of your morning commute. The Superior Police Department also states that North 3rd Street connecting downtown to Highway 2 is open and that it is available for motorists this morning.
Details are still scarce on the warehouse fire. As of now, the Superior Police Department has not given the name of the warehouse nor has the Superior Fire Department. However, one Superior resident told me that when they stepped outside their home it smelled like smoke.
Another Northlander wrote in and told me that they were traveling on Highway 35 this morning and could see smoke and flames. This was before 7 a.m. Please use caution when traveling on Thursday morning.
We will continue to follow the story and keep you updated. You can read the full statement from the Superior Police Department below. They shared the message on their Facebook page at 6:32 a.m. Thursday morning: