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Fire burns rural Meeker County, Minn., home, started by spilled gas

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LITCHFIELD — Fire crews battled a house fire Sunday evening for five hours, but a rural Watkins home is believed to be a complete loss.

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According to the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office, the fire was reported at the home of Jeffrey Brandl at 65510 330th Street around 6:50 p.m. Sunday. The Litchfield, Dassel and Watkins fire departments and the Litchfield Rescue Squad battled the blaze for five hours.

The home suffered heavy damage from the fire and it is unknown if any property is salvageable.

The investigation into the blaze revealed that the fire started in the basement after Brandl removed a gas tank from a motorcycle. There was some gas inside the tank, which leaked near a wood-burning stove and caught fire.

Dianna Ertl, who also resides at the residence, suffered minor burns to her right arm. She was treated on scene by Litchfield Rescue and declined any further medical treatment at that time. Brandl was not injured.

The estimated value of the home is $189,000.

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