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Weekend fire destroys house in Darwin, Minn.

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LITCHFIELD -- A fire early this morning in Darwin destroyed the home and belongings of a 61-year-old renter.

The Meeker County Sheriff's Office said the fire at 120 County State-Aid Highway 24 was reported at 4:25 a.m. today by a passerby on U.S. Highway 12.

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Deputies who arrived on the scene saw flames coming from the front window. Unsure if anyone was inside, they broke several windows trying to see inside and yell to rescue the occupants. A short time later the renter showed up. The Sheriff's Office said he had been at a friend's home out of the area since 9 p.m. the night before and there was no one else in the house.

Crews with the Litchfield and Dassel fire departments and Meeker Co-op were unable to save the house. The Red Cross was contacted to help the resident find temporary shelter.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, the Sheriff's Office said tonight.

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