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Update: Authorities say Willmar, Minn., motel fire was arson

Firefighters from Willmar, Benson and Kandiyohi respond Thursday morning to a fire at the Highway 12 Motel in Willmar. Authorities say it was arson. (Tribune photo by Mark Herman)

WILLMAR -- A fire that burned one unit of the vacant Highway 12 Motel this morning along U.S. Highway 12 East in Willmar was arson, authorities say.

According to a news release from the Willmar Fire Department, the investigation conducted by the Fire Department, the Willmar Police Department and the State Fire Marshal's office has concluded the fire was intentionally set. There were no utilities connected to the building at the time of the fire.

The fire was reported at 7:13 a.m. this morning. Crews responded to find one unit burning and flames extending from the building.

Crews from Willmar, Benson and Kandiyohi responded and were able to quickly contain the fire to that one unit.

Anyone with information about the fire, including seeing any vehicles or people in the area between 6:45 and 7:15 a.m. today, are asked to contact the Police Department at 320-235-2244, or the Minnesota Arson Hotline at 800-723-2020.