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Community rallies to help north shore resort owners hit by fire

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The family that owns and runs the Lake Breeze Motel Resort in Duluth got a boost from their friends and neighbors on Saturday.

The Duluth News Tribune reports that a benefit dinner raised money for Ken and Paula Hughes, struggling in the aftermath of a July 3 explosion and fire. A neighboring restaurant on Scenic Highway 61 hosted the spaghetti feed.

Donations will go toward the family’s expenses. Paula Hughes, who sustained second and third-degree burns, was released from the hospital Friday but did not attend the benefit because of the infection risk. She moves to the Burn Center at St. Paul's Regions Hospital next week for months of rehabilitation.

The fire destroyed the family's living quarters and four units of the motel. Because the investigation has not released the building that’s needed to connect electricity and water, the motel hasn’t been able to reopen. As a result, the owners lost all of their business during the peak summer season.

The cause of the fire remains undetermined. Ken Hughes said that although it occurred around the Fourth of July, it was not related to fireworks.

Hughes said the family plans to rebuild their home and the destroyed units.

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