Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Quick response to hotel blaze

Fortune Bay evacuated due to smoke from room fire

Marshall Helmberger
Posted 3/14/18

VERMILION RESERVATION—Firefighters from several area departments responded to an upper floor fire at the Fortune Bay Resort hotel late Wednesday afternoon. Fortune Bay officials evacuated guests …

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Quick response to hotel blaze

Fortune Bay evacuated due to smoke from room fire

Posted

VERMILION RESERVATION—Firefighters from several area departments responded to an upper floor fire at the Fortune Bay Resort hotel late Wednesday afternoon. Fortune Bay officials evacuated guests and employees at the resort hotel to the casino portion of the facility after the fire alarm sounded at 3:20 p.m.

According to Fortune Bay spokesperson Brian Anderson, a woman staying in a fourth floor room heard a “pop” coming from the radiator unit, which suggests a possible electrical short.

She reported the incident to the hotel desk, and staff there immediately instituted their emergency procedures.

Fire officials later ordered an evacuation of the casino as well, although they lifted that order fairly quickly allowing guests back inside. The hotel remained evacuated as of the Timberjay’s Wednesday presstime, due to some lingering smoke. Anderson said guests were very understanding and patient under the circumstances.

Eyewitness accounts reported white smoke pouring from a window as firefighters, carrying fire hoses, worked to enter the room from an upper level balcony. Other firefighters were seen hauling a ventilation fan up the stairs inside the hotel.

Social media reports indicated that the fire was quickly contained within a single room, and that some employees may have been treated for smoke inhalation. Ambulances from both Tower and Ely were dispatched to the scene.

Anderson expressed gratitude on behalf of Fortune Bay for the prompt response by emergency personnel. “We really appreciate their assistance,” he said. “They did a great job.”

Greenwood, Breitung, Tower, and Vermilion Lake fire departments responded to the scene, along with Virginia Fire/EMS, and the Tower Ambulance. Pike-Sandy-Britt, Embarrass, St. Louis County Sheriff and BIA also responded.

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