DULUTH — One person is dead after an eight-plex fire at 631 E. Third St. on Sunday afternoon, April 4. It's the second fatal fire at this address within the past year.
At 12:58 p.m., the Duluth Fire Department responded to a fire in the bedroom of a first-floor apartment, according to a news release from the department. The fire was knocked down quickly and didn't extend beyond the unit of origin.
The person was found dead when crews searched the apartment. Their identity will be released after next of kin has been notified.
The Duluth News Tribune reported in September that the landlord of the uninsured brownstone apartment building struggled to take on needed repairs after a fire there in August that took the life of 36-year-old Michael Simone. The city intervened, ultimately displacing the other residents.
The city has run into a handful of cases in recent years where landlords who lack insurance have been unable to make needed repairs after a fire, prompting the Duluth City Council last fall to consider an ordinance requiring landlords to carry insurance for their properties. The council eventually declined to take up the issue, sending it back to city administration.
The other building tenants were able to evacuate Sunday. Due to the limited building damage, they were able to remain in the apartment complex following the fire.
Crews were also able to rescue a dog that was in the apartment of origin. The dog was not injured and has been taken in by a neighbor for the time being.
The damage is estimated to be around $5,000 for the room and contents.
This is the first Duluth fire fatality in 2021. Duluth had two fatalities in 2020 — one at this address and one at 305 N. 22nd Ave. W.