Fire destroyed two buildings in downtown Escanaba early this morning

Fire destroyed two buildings in downtown Escanaba early this morning.

The Ludington Street Buildings housed Schwalbach Kitchens and Trinkets and Things, as well as several residential units.

Escanaba Public Safety was dispatched to the scene shortly before 2:00 a.m. following a report of flames coming through the roof at 1101 Ludington Street. Within minutes, that building was fully engulfed. It took 8 hours for firefighters to gain control of the blaze, but they were unable to completely extinguish it at the time due to the structure collapsing. 

One of the neighboring residents, Melissa Patten said “Well, we were woken up a little after 2:00 with the cops asking us to leave the premises. There is a building that separates us, it wasn’t our building but there’s a lot of smoke damage. So we all evacuated. They broke in our doors. Broke in mine and Dave’s, the neighbor. It’s a mess.”

Firefighters became aware that one resident of the 1101 Ludington Street building was unaccounted for. While searching through the fire debris, firefighters later discovered an unidentified victim. No information about this person or whether they survived is being released at this time.

Both 1109 and 1101 Ludington Street buildings were a complete loss due to the fire.

Escanaba Public Safety asks that members of the public stay away from the buildings at this time due to danger from the debris and the condition of the buildings.