Lutsen Lodge fire: Investigation underway; latest inspection uncovered violations

State investigators have begun their review to determine what sparked the large fire that destroyed the historic Lutsen Lodge in northern Minnesota on Tuesday.

In a news release on Wednesday, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal's Office released its latest inspection of the lodge from July 2023, which uncovered seven violations. Of the violations, the state says at least four had been fixed. The remaining violations related to tests of the sprinkler and fire alarm systems along with fixing an emergency light.

The fire tore through the popular lodge in northern Minnesota early Tuesday morning, leaving behind a pile of rubble. Thankfully, no injuries were reported during the massive blaze. Crews responded around 12:30 a.m. after staff members reported seeing smoke from the lobby area. When deputies got on scene, they found the lodge "completely engulfed" in flames.

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Pictured the Lutsen Resort lodge on fire. (Courtesy: Chris Miller)

From: Supplied

Tuesday's fire marked the third time in 75 years that the lodge had burned down.

Due to the size of the fire, the fire marshal's office says it will take time to determine what sparked the blaze.

"No two fires are alike, which means each investigation is also unique," reads a provided statement from Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Amanda Swenson. "Our investigators are highly trained to determine the origins and causes of fires across Minnesota."

Officials say investigators are "sifting through debris and ashes to review any physical evidence at the scene" as part of the wide-ranging investigation.

"We understand the public wants answers," added State Fire Marshal Chief Investigator Jim Iammatteo. "However, it would be irresponsible to offer any insights until the conclusion of this investigation."