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Rural Watkins, Minn., barn fire under investigation

WATKINS — The cause of a fire that burned a portion of a barn at a rural Watkins residence Saturday is under investigation.

According to the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office, fire departments from Watkins, Eden Valley and Litchfield, plus Watkins Rescue, responded just before 5 p.m. to 64921 350th Street for a barn fire.

The fire was reported by Florence DeHeer 70, the owner of the residence, when she noticed smoke from the barn roof. The fire started in a lean-to that was used as a work shop.

The rest of the barn was used for personal storage. The shop had a wood stove for heat that was in operation at the time of the fire. The lean-to was a total loss, and the fire spread to the barn area through the side wall, but fire personnel were able to extinguish the fire, and save the rest of the structure. The items inside the barn such as a truck, snowmobile, motorcycle, and other miscellaneous items sustained heavy smoke and water damage.