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Early morning fire damages Swenson Motors in Willmar, Minn.

Willmar Fire Chief Marv Calvin (center) talks with fire personnel and auto deal staff Monday morning outside the Swenson Motor Company building at 1301 Highway 12 East, Willmar. A fire early Monday morning damaged the auto dealership's building. Tribune photo by Kelly Boldan

WILLMAR -- Authorities are investigating a fire early this morning that heavily damaged Swenson Motor Company on East Highway 12 in Willmar.

At approximately 12:40 a.m. today, the Willmar Fire Department was dispatched to a report of smoke coming from the roof of Swenson Motors. Upon arrival, fire crews found fire in the building and were able to knock down a large amount of fire with initial hand lines. Authorities say fire extended into the roof area.

Fire crews remain on the scene this morning. Willmar Fire Department requested mutual aid from eight surrounding agencies. Also assisting on scene were Willmar Ambulance Service, Kandiyohi County Rescue Squad, Willmar Police Department, Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office and Minnesota State Fire Marshal's Office.

The fire department, the fire marshal and police department are investigating.