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Reward offered, arson cause of fire that destroyed contents of Renville County Food Shelf in Olivia, Minn.

OLIVIA -- The public's help is being sought in apprehending the person or persons responsible for a fire that destroyed the contents of the Renville County Food Shelf and caused extensive smoke and heat damage to the Hair Connection, Red Cross office and an apartment unit in a downtown Olivia building on Sunday night.

No one was injured, and the resident of the second floor apartment was able to escape the building unharmed, according to the Olivia Police Department.

A passerby discovered the fire shortly before 8:35 p.m. The Olivia, Danube and Bird Island fire departments responded. The use of a thermal imaging camera greatly aided the fire fighters in attacking the blaze and confining it to the Food Shelf area of the building, according to Olivia Fire Chief Tim Seehusen.

The Renville County Food Shelf board of directors is meeting this afternoon to decide what to do, according to director Mary Schroepfer. She was hopeful that the Food Shelf would be up and running soon in a new location.

Anyone that has any information regarding this fire is encouraged to contact the Olivia Police Department, the Renville County Sheriff's Department or call the State Arson Hotline at 1-800-723-2020. Rewards of up to $2,500 for information leading to the identification of the person or persons responsible for this fire.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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