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Lightning starts South Haven barn fire

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SOUTH HAVEN — Firefighters from four departments were called around 6 p.m. Wednesday to a barn fire caused by lightning at a rural South Haven residence.

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According to the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office, the fire at the Dale and Linda Atkinson residence at 31252 733rd Ave. was reported by multiple parties, including a neighbor. Neither of the owners were at home at the time.

The Dassel, Litchfield, Kimball and Cokato fire crews, and linemen from Meeker Co-op Light and Power Association, responded to the blaze. The fire claimed a 32-by-60-foot barn used to store antiques and household items, plus an attached shed, another shed and a chicken coop. About 50 young laying hens were caught in the fire.

The barn was insured and the loss was estimated at more than $200,000 including the buildings and contents.

Lindberg Excavating, of Cokato, was called to assist in spreading the rubble, to extinguish hot spots in the debris.

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