Skip to main content

2 buildings, gazebo destroyed in fire at northern MN resort

"In the realm of worst-case scenarios, we were very fortunate," the resort said.

A fire destroyed two buildings and a gazebo at a resort in northern Minnesota early Sunday. 

The fire started around 1:17 a.m. at the Life of Riley Resort on Lake Vermilion in Orr. According to the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office, the blaze began in a gazebo and spread to two adjacent buildings, destroying them all. 

The aftermath of the fire. 

The aftermath of the fire. 

"In the realm of worst-case scenarios, we were very fortunate," the resort said in a statement on Facebook. "Only unoccupied buildings went up. Gazebo, bait house, store, game room, and the PJ’s."

No injuries were reported, the sheriff's office said. 

"[The fire] was seen early and with quick response not only from guests and staff but all those that came out on the call — Cook Fire, Buyck Fire, Vermilion Fire Brigade, EMS, Sheriff, Lake Country Power, and more," the post said. "Thank You to all that helped contain and put out the blaze. 

"In typical Riley fashion, if you show up to help, we feed you. The guys got coffee and an early breakfast before we let them go," the resort added. 

The resort said they're now going to begin assessing and cleaning up after the fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, the sheriff's office said. 

The Life of Riley Resort is a fishing resort with 21 cottages and other amenities on Lake Vermillion's Norwegian Bay.

Riley and Dorothy Creigh began to build a spot for friends and family on Lake Vermillion in 1929, which grew into the Life of Riley Resort. It has a long history, including being mentioned in Life magazine as an alleged hideout for Gill Davis, Al Capone's hitman.

Next Up


Tributes to 15-year-old girl killed in Burnsville crash

The teenager was a student at Burnsville High School.

police lights

Charges: New Ulm couple abused young children with cruel punishments

Warning: The following contains upsetting details about child abuse.

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 1.18.29 PM

Boy reels in 9.5lb walleye, wins pickup truck at Brainerd ice fishing tourney

Contestants come from all over the country compete in the annual event held in Brainerd.


Arrowhead 135 ultramarathon in northern MN kicks off in -25F temperatures

The race is considered one of the 50 most challenging races in the world.

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 9.31.03 AM

Old Navy closes Eagan store

There's another change in store for the popular Eagan strip mall.


Charges: Man shot victim in leg outside a Cowboy Jack's

Corey Ryman allegedly chased another man around a parking lot before shooting him.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Man shot in both feet after interrupting vehicle break-in in St. Paul

The incident happened just before 10 p.m. Saturday.


fire, flames

Main building at Otter Tail County resort destroyed in fire

A lodge and an attached home were a total loss.

police lights

Kidnapping suspect leads police on 60-mile chase, then shoots himself

The incident started in International Falls and ended in Orr.

kozy bar fire

Fire at Kozy Bar building in Duluth is the second in 6 months

The building has been uninhabitable since a fire in 2010.

Cass County sheriff north dakota squad facebook

36-year-old arrested after fire destroys cabin in northern MN

Authorities believe he has no connection to the property.