Fire rips through Duluth homeless encampment under I-35 bridge

Smoke billows from underneath the I-35 bridge in Duluth during Monday's encampment fire. (Duluth Fire Department / Supplied)

A homeless encampment under I-35 in Duluth, Minnesota was destroyed after a large fire ripped through tents on Monday, firefighters report.

Crews responded just after 6 p.m. for the fire near the Mesaba/Superior Street exit after 911 calls from drivers who spotted smoke. At the encampment, firefighters found billowing smoke but found no one at the camp.

With help from a nearby construction crew, firefighters were able to knock down the flames.

(Duluth Fire Department / Supplied)

Police say a propane tank had released some gas that accelerated the fire, making it tough for firefighters to battle.

"I appreciate the fast thinking by the Ames Construction crew and the assistance that they provided," wrote Assistant Chief Dennis Edwards. "Thanks to them we were able to extinguish the fire a lot faster than we would have without their help."

Minnesota State Patrol helped fire crews search for people impacted by the fire. As far as they can tell, no one was injured in the fire.

Nearby train tracks were shut down during the firefight.