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A group of squatters had been camping at a home in Duluth prior to a fire that caused $70,000 worth of damage Tuesday morning. 

The Duluth Fire Department responded to a fire at a condemned home on the 700 block of West 2nd Street at 6:15 a.m. Tuesday, a news release says. When crews arrived, they found "heavy fire" at the back of the two-story home, which was boarded up due to it being condemned. 

Firefighters fought the blaze with "defensive tactics" from the exterior until the fire was knocked down and they could confirm the structural integrity of the building, the release says. Then they went inside and put out the remaining embers. 

This home is well known to the Duluth Fire Department. It was condemned in 2012 and fire crews have boarded it up multiple times due to "repeated break-ins."

Witnesses said squatters had been camping under the home, which is where the fire started, a release says. The Duluth Fire Marshal's Office determined the cause of the fire was an accident. 

No one was injured. 

Damages are estimated at $60,000 to the structure and $10,000 for the contents. 

This is the second fire apparently caused by squatters in recent weeks in Duluth. The Duluth Fire Department said a squatter at the Esmond Building was responsible for the accidental fire there on Dec. 24, 2021. 

The fire department is encouraging anyone in need of shelter to use CHUM's services at 120 N 1st Ave. W in Duluth. CHUM has a drop-in center that's open 24 hours a day. 

There is also a warming center open between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. at the Rainbow Center and the Duluth Transit Authority is providing free rides and from the warming center to anyone in need. 

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