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Fire officials investigating fatality after responding to house fire

Willmar firefighters respond to the scene of a fire Tuesday at a home on the 1200 block of Willmar Avenue Southeast. Tribune photo by Gary Miller

WILLMAR — The Willmar Fire Department and the State Fire Marshal's office are investigating a fatality after they responded to a Tuesday morning house fire in Willmar.

According to Willmar Fire Chief Gary Hendrickson, the name of the deceased person discovered in the home along the 1200 block of Willmar Avenue Southeast is not yet being released pending the investigation, identification and family notification.

Firefighters, Willmar police officers and Willmar Ambulance Service personnel responded to the blaze after a passerby reported seeing no flames, but smoke coming from the eaves of the home, at 6:51 a.m. Tuesday, Hendrickson said.

The firefighters found fire in the kitchen and located the person in their search of the residence, he said.

Jerry Gesch, a neighbor to the residence, said Tuesday morning that the home was occupied by an older woman who was widowed and who had lived there for many years.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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