At roughly 10:30 Friday night, a fire started at 108 Fifth Street in Calumet, the former site of the Evergreen Inn and Parkside Restaurants. The blaze quickly spread to two neighboring buildings engulfing everything to the Portland Street intersection.
12 fire departments responded, from Ahmeek down to Houghton. Houghton County Sheriff’s Department and UPPCO utility crews were also on scene.
The fire was not fully contained until after 7:00 AM Saturday. Caterpillar heavy equipment began tearing down what remained of the structure and ladders were kept employed to tamp down any flare ups.
Calumet Fire Department Chief Jeff Kalcich says that three firefighters suffered minor injuries. One could be seen with a bandage wrapping around his chin and then covering a majority of his head and brow. The buildings affected were up to three stories tall and featured several apartments, especially on the upper levels. Houghton County Sheriff’s Office estimates 20 to 30 people have been displaced. Kalcich says all are safe.
Because the structure where the fire originated is vacant, Kalcich says suspicious activity has to be the first consideration.
An investigation is ongoing as to the possibility of foul play.
The basements of the places affected had over three feet of standing water in them before crews began to wind down their operation, speaking to how much effort went into fighting the inferno.
Copper World has given Keweenaw Report permission to link to the video they took from Friday night.