The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Former city commission candidate escapes blaze

 

February 23, 2018

Ralph Ansami/Daily Globe

WATER IS poured on the downtown Chelsi's Corner fire Wednesday around 8 a.m. from the Ironwood Public Safety Department's tower 1 ladder truck.

By RALPH ANSAMI

ransami@yourdailyglobe.com

Ironwood - An Ironwood City Commission candidate in the last election was one of the residents of 102 E. Aurora St. who escaped the Wednesday fire that left at least two people dead.

David Kinnunen told KBJR-TV 6 that fire crews rescued him from his second story window with the Ironwood Public Safety Department ladder truck.

"I remember the smoke. I remember smelling it and I went in the hallway and that was full of smoke and I knew I had to get out," he said in the TV interview. "They lifted a ladder and I climbed out."

He was one of the lucky ones who were rescued, as there could be as many as four victims when the investigation is completed, although only two deaths had been confirmed as of Thursday evening.

There were nine apartments above the corner store.

Kinnunen, who unsuccessfully ran for office, was being housed in an Ironwood motel following the blaze.

The operator of the Cedar Motel, Adam Kangas, said he had expected some of the fire escapees to be housed in his motel on West Cloverland Drive, but as of Thursday night, he had not received any.

"They are given vouchers and they can stay where they choose," he said.

Kinnunen, who lived in apartment 1 above the Chelsi's Corner store, grabbed his coat and his hat, losing all his belongings.

He had lived there for five years.

The Red Cross responded to the fire and the Gogebic County Victim Services organization was also called out.

Many area residents indicated on social media sites they were prepared to donate funds to the victims when their names are released by the Ironwood Public Safety Department. The IPSD had released no names as of Thursday evening.

 
 

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