Skip to main content

Officials: Fire at Duluth home caused by solar panels

The blaze did $40,000 worth of damage.

Solar panels on the roof of a home in Duluth caused a fire that did $40,000 in damage on Wednesday. 

The Duluth Fire Department says a passerby noticed smoke coming from the roof of a home on the 2200 block of West 6th Street in Duluth's Lincoln Park neighborhood and called 911. 

Police officers assisted the homeowner and her dog out of the home before the fire department arrived at 2:03 p.m. 

Firefighters found charred wood, dripping tar and smoke in the attic, determining the fire was coming from the area of the roof where there are solar panels.

They shut off power to the home and Minnesota Power responded to de-energize the solar panels, the release said. Crews removed the panels and continued to fight the blaze. 

The Duluth Fire Marshal's Office determined the fire was accidental, caused by the solar panels. Damage is estimated at $40,000. 

Bring Me The News has reached out to Minnesota Power for comment. 

The U.S. Department of Energy has a website dedicated to the safety of solar photovoltaics (PV), saying there are many steps required to ensure the safety of firefighters who are battling a fire involving solar panels. There's a special training program to teach firefighters and fire code officials about managing solar equipment as they put out fires. 

Follow Bring Me The News on Twitter for the latest breaking news

However, these types of fires aren't all that common, with the Department of Energy saying "as with any electrical system, a PV system that is properly installed by a qualified vendor should not introduce any significant risk to your home."

The website notes there is no "clear data" on the number of fires caused by rooftop solar panels in the United States. But in Germany, a 2018 report says 210 of the 430 fires involving solar systems were caused by the system itself, noting Germany has about 1.7 million PV systems installed. The U.S. has about 1.8 million.

The Solar Energy Industries Association says it is "extremely rare" for solar equipment to cause a fire, but one may occur if there is "an improper connection or other electrical/fire hazards is present."

Next Up

ambulance

1 dead, 2 with life-threatening injuries in Minnesota crash

The crash happened just after 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Image (1)

School bus carrying students plunges into river southwest of Fargo

None of the kids suffered life-threatening injuries, though some were taken to area hospitals.

Richfield High School

Richfield High School cancels weekend events after shooting

Two men were shot outside the school's football stadium

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 10.21.38 PM

Sound of shots, mass panic at Richfield football game streamed live on YouTube

Gunfire caused panic at a varsity football game Friday night.

J. Gordon

K-9 search leads to $36K fentanyl seizure during traffic stop

A traffic stop was made after the vehicle was seen speeding through the area.

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 5.20.08 PM

Gov. Walz reacts to Tuesday death of Mankato West student

The governor is a former geography teacher at the high school.

court room

Teen pleads guilty to Minneapolis carjacking, admits to others

The man was yanked out of the vehicle by witnesses before fleeing the scene.

Federal court house

Three plead guilty to roles in murder on Red Lake Reservation

The 2019 murder left another person seriously injured.

image

Sheriff: Heifer shot and butchered on farmer's pasture near Aitkin

Anyone with information regarding the incident is encouraged to call the Clearwater County Sheriff's Office.

SwearegeneMugDouglasCoJail

Minneapolis murder suspect arrested in Wisconsin

The man has been wanted by police since the shooting happened in April.

Related

duluth fire

Squatters were camping at condemned Duluth home prior to fire

The fire that caused $70,000 worth of damage was said to be accidental.

duluth ship fire

Duluth fire crews battle blaze on 118-year-old lake freighter

The J.B. Ford, which is the oldest intact lake freighter still floating, has been housed at a scrapyard since 2015.

Screen Shot 2021-08-29 at 9.07.07 AM

Lightning strikes Duluth church, causing $185k in damage

The damages will also result in multiple street closures near the church.

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.

duluth fire 2

Duluth firefighters battling blaze at former Seaway Hotel

Wind chills were 35 below zero Monday morning.

Facebook - Spoons bar grill fire - Duluth Fire Department

Duluth restaurant catches fire twice in one morning

The second blaze did another $25,000 worth of damage.

Duluth fire department, fire engine, fire truck

Officials investigating Duluth apartment fire that displaced 10 people

The fire broke out Friday night on the 600 block of East 4th Street.