A 51-year-old woman has been identified as the person who died in a residential fire last week near Cloquet, one of three deadly blazes that occurred late last week in that part of Minnesota. 

Sharyl L. Nelson died in the fire Thursday night in the 3900 block of Hwy. 33 in Cloquet, the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday. Nelson’s body wasn’t recovered until noon the next day.

About 3:15 a.m. Friday, a home behind Hermantown Middle School caught fire in the 5300 block of W. Arrowhead Road, police said. An 87-year-old woman lived there.

Confirming the victim’s identity is proving to be a challenge, Hermantown Deputy Police Chief Shawn Padden.

“I think we can safely assume this is her,” Padden said, “but of course until the [medical examiner] confirms such, we cannot.”

The deputy chief said the medical examiner “was going to do a more extensive exam of the remains [Wednesday] morning, but it did not sound like we will able to make a positive ID by any other means than DNA, which I have been told, could take up to two months.”

Shortly before 1 p.m. Saturday a home caught fire in Normanna Township, about 15 miles northeast of Duluth, and 52-year-old Jeffrey Sorvik died.

In all three cases, authorities have yet to say what started the blazes.