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Vehicles from the Lake Lillian Fire Department remain parked at the scene Tuesday after a fire the night prior caused extensive damage to the K&M Liquor building in Lake Lillian. Fire crews initially had difficulty locating flames at the liquor store and bait shop after receiving a call from a passerby. The blaze remains under investigation. Tribune photo by Gary Miller

Extensive damage reported at Lake Lillian business after fire

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News Willmar,Minnesota 56201
West Central Tribune
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Extensive damage reported at Lake Lillian business after fire
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

LAKE LILLIAN — A fire Monday night caused extensive damage to the K&M Liquor building in Lake Lillian.

Investigators were still at the scene Tuesday.

The Lake Lillian Fire Department was called to the fire at 9:23 p.m. Monday in downtown Lake Lillian.

Fire crews from Lake Lillian, Blomkest and Kandiyohi were on the scene at 480 Lakeview St. until about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, said Ross Wittman, Lake Lillian fire chief. Lake Lillian’s ambulance service also responded to the fire as well as Kandiyohi County Rescue, which supplied air for firefighters.

Wittman said a passerby noticed smoke coming from the building and called in the alarm.

When Lake Lillian firefighters arrived at the scene from their station just down the street, they didn’t see any flames.

But they eventually found the fire.

There is extensive smoke and fire damage to the building, Wittman said.

“It’s a sad day,” said Kelly Whitcomb, who, with his wife, Mary, has owned the store for about four years.

The Whitcombs, who live near Atwater, said they received a call about the fire at about 9:30 p.m.

The pair stood outside the building Tuesday afternoon.

“We haven’t even been inside yet,” Kelly Whitcomb said. “We’re just waiting.”

Investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s office and from Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement, both divisions of the state Department of Public Safety, were on the scene Tuesday afternoon. They said they couldn’t comment about the fire.

“They’ve gotta do their job,” Kelly Whitcomb said of the investigators.

Gary Miller

Born and attended public schools in Willmar, Minn. Served 20 years in U.S. Navy as a photojournalist. Worked at West Central Tribune since retiring from the Navy in 1994.

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