Fire shuts down Empire Mine temporarily

The Empire Mine in Palmer is shut down temporarily after a fire broke out there this morning.

Cliffs Natural Resources officials say the fire started shortly before 6:00 a.m. in the Empire Mine’s limestone feeding system. It’s a series of conveyor belts that transports crushed limestone into the mine.

Employees evacuated the mine, and no one was hurt. The Ishpeming Township, Richmond Township, Marquette Township and Negaunee City Fire Departments responded. Fire crews are still at the scene.

Cliffs officials say the cause of the fire is unknown. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration has been notified. MSHA officials will join Cliffs and the United Steelworkers in investigating the blaze.