Two Injured and Dozens Displaced Following North Shore Resort Explosion

By KBJR News 1

July 3, 2013 Updated Jan 6, 2014 at 1:44 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- A fast spreading Wednesday afternoon fire at a resort along the North Shore sent two people to the hospital and disrupted dozens of people's holiday plans.

Duluth Assistant Fire Chief Erik Simonson said one person sustained "minor injuries" and the others condition was non life-threatening.

Fire destroyed the main building of the Lake Breeze Resort and Motel along Scenic Highway 61 in the northeastern part of Duluth just after 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

Witnesses say they heard a loud explosion just before the fire erupted.

Simonson said the front of the main building was fully engulfed when his department arrived with flames quickly spreading to the back side of the structure.

The building that was severly damaged housed the main office, a sauna, two rental units and the laundry room.

Simonson said they were able to contain the fire before it spread to neighboring structures but the timing of the fire is unfortunate as the resort was fully booked for the holiday.

"Unfortunately the place was obviously filled with people, I know that they had been coming here for a long time, and we just let most of them out. Hopefully they can find a place to stay and salvage the holiday. I think the good news is that not more people were hurt severely," said Erik Simonson, Duluth Assistant Fire Chief.

Simonson said the owner of the Lake Breeze Resort is discussing their options with the insurance company and that the Red Cross has been put on standby to assist the owners if help is needed.

Simonson added his team faced a bit of a challenge extinguishing the blaze because the area is serviced by a single waterline.

Officials say it's too soon to tell what sparked the fire, but Simonson said his department along with the Fire Marshal are investigating the incident.

Jeremy Brickley