Passerby alerts residents of burning Duluth home, shovels snow to douse flames

A fire-damaged home in the snow01
A passerby noticed a house on fire in Duluth on Monday morning and began shoveling snow to douse the flames. Firefighters arrived soon after to extinguish any remaining hot spots. Damage — which was confined to the exterior of the building — was estimated at $10,000 to $20,000.
Duluth Fire Department

The Duluth Fire Department says a passerby who spotted a fire on the outside of a home Monday morning helped the building's residents escape — and then mostly extinguished the blaze by shoveling snow onto it.

It happened just before 8 a.m. on the 2400 block of West Fourth Street, in the city's Lincoln Park neighborhood.

A fire-damaged home in the snow02
"Thanks to the safe and quick action of the passerby and their call to 911, the structure has limited damage and nobody, thankfully, was injured,” Duluth Fire Department Assistant Chief Dan Lattner said.
Duluth Minnesota Fire Department

Fire officials said the unnamed passerby saw the fire on the exterior of the building and first called 911.

“The passerby also attempted to extinguish the fire by shoveling snow onto it, successfully extinguishing around 90 percent of the fire,” the Duluth Fire Department reported in a news release.

Firefighters arrived soon after to extinguish any remaining hot spots. Damage — which was confined to the exterior of the building — was estimated at $10,000 to $20,000.

“Thanks to the safe and quick action of the passerby and their call to 911, the structure has limited damage and nobody, thankfully, was injured,” Duluth Fire Department Assistant Chief Dan Lattner said in the news release. “Personal safety is paramount in cases like these, so we thank this citizen not only for their expedience in calling for emergency services and to attempt to notify the building’s residents, but also for carefully minding their own personal safety in attempting to control the fire by shoveling snow on it.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

There’s plenty of snow on the ground in Duluth for skiing, sledding — and extinguishing fires. The National Weather Service said the Duluth airport had received 75.2 inches of snow so far this winter, as of the end of the day Sunday. The average for this point in the season is 47.9 inches.

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