3 fires in 4 days keep local firefighters busy

No injuries were reported in any of the fires.

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Carlton firefighters Adam Vic, Tim Jessen and Brent Bodie pry shingles off of a two story house on the 1200 block of Carlton Avenue Wednesday, March 18. The fire was contained to a bonus room upstairs and the attic area of the house. The owner and her children escaped unharmed after a mailman alerted them to the fire. Jamie Lund/Pine Journal

A Cloquet mailman knocked at the door of a house on the 1200 block of Carlton Avenue Wednesday, March 18 and informed the owner her home was on fire.

The fire was one of three crews battled in the span of a few days.

Cloquet Area Fire District Battalion Chief Gordy Meagher said the call came in around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18. Smoke was pouring out of the roof and second-story windows of the two-and-a-half story house when firefighters arrived.

“A mailman knocked at our door and told us we had to get out,” homeowner Dawn Ammesmaki said.

A neighbor called 911 while Ammesmaki and her six children evacuated the home. No one was injured, including the family dog and cats.


The fire originated in a small bonus room on the “third floor” and into the attic, Meagher said. The fire was contained to the area and sustained heavy damage.

A total of 22 firefighters responded to the scene.

“We knocked it down very quick,” Meagher said.

The fire district's ladder truck staff were out on another call at the time, so officials called the Carlton Fire Department to bring their ladder truck to the scene.

Ammesmaki said they are staying with a family member and hope to be back in their home in about six months.

“We’re doing pretty good so far,” Ammesmaki said. “I am thankful that we got out OK. The other stuff is just that, stuff. It can be replaced.”

Around 4 a.m. on Thursday, March 19, the fire district responded to a house on fire at West Moorhead Road in Cloquet. The fire was confined to the attic and ceiling. There were no injuries.

Firefighters responded to another structure fire around 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, after someone noticed smoke coming from a cabin on Maple Drive in Perch Lake Township. The owner was not home at the time. CAFD Chief Kevin Schroeder said there was extensive damage to the cabin, but no one was injured.


Carlton Fire Department, Fond du Lac Police Department and Carlton County Sheriff deputies assisted with the Perch Lake Township fire.

Fires in general around this time of the year are not uncommon, but to have three in the span of a few days is unusual, Schroeder said.

“Three working structural fires is out of the ordinary for us,” he said.

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