CLOQUET (AP) -- Officials here have backed off their initial assessment that a fire at the Hotel Solem was arson.
"At this point it's just a suspicious fire," said Det. Tim Lamminen. "It's suspicious in origin simply based on the fact that it started in a common area where there wasn't a lot to burn."
Cloquet Fire Chief Jim Langenbrunner had said it was an arson fire on Tuesday.
No one was injured in the fire. Firefighters helped eight people, along with eight cats and a dog, get out safely. The building's owner said 16 people lived in the building's 13 units.
All the residents are without homes. The Northland Chapter of the American Red Cross was working out of two motels to help displaced residents purchase food and clothing and find housing.
Officials believe the fire started in the combination kitchen and laundry room on the second floor. The room appears to be the most heavily damaged. Langenbrunner gave no details about the arson theory.
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