LUTSEN (WJON News) -- The Minnesota State Fire Marshal has released an initial statement on the fire that destroyed Minnesota's oldest resort.

They say by state statute hotels, motels, and buildings used for lodging, with six or more guest rooms for short-term rentals, are inspected for fire safety once every three years.

The last inspection for Lutsen Resort Lodge took place in July 2023.  They found seven violations, four of which were repaired by the property owner.  The Fire Marshal says it is too soon in the inspection to know if any of the outstanding violations played a role in the fire.

The State Fire Marshal says it cannot predict how long the investigation will take due to the magnitude of this fire.

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Investigators are sifting through debris and ashes to review any physical evidence at the scene. They will also review paperwork, such as business and financial reports, and conduct a multitude of interviews.

A staffer at Lutsen Lodge on Lake Superior spotted smoke coming from electrical outlets in the floor of the lobby around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday. The employee made it out and no guests were checked in, but the lodge was destroyed.

Lutsen, started in 1885, claims to be Minnesota’s oldest resort, with the lodge as its centerpiece. It is a popular destination for hikers, skiers and other visitors from the Midwest and beyond.

The main lodge was rebuilt after a 1951 fire. Lodge operators have pledged to rebuild again.

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