Historic Lutsen Lodge destroyed in fire considered a ‘potential’ crime scene, authorities say

The Historic Lutsen Resort Main Lodge, which was destroyed in a fire earlier this week, is still being considered a “potential” crime scene, a spokesperson for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) says.

Earlier Friday, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said the scene was being considered a crime scene but DPS walked that back, saying officials weren’t clear in their communication and it’s still too early to determine if the fire was arson or an accident.

However, the public is still prohibited from entering the lodge and anyone found inside will be arrested. Deputies will be patrolling the area.

“We are working to preserve the integrity of the fire scene and keep people safe by asking them to stay out of the area,” a DPS spokesperson said.

There were no guests inside the lodge on Tuesday when the fire started and no injuries were reported.

The fire remains under investigation by the Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Minnesota regulators said Wednesday that the lodge had three unresolved violations from a recent fire code inspection, but it wasn’t clear if those violations played a role in the blaze.

A DPS news release stated that the State Fire Marshal initially found seven violations in July, but the owner repaired four of them.