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Three fire departments battle garage fire in Willmar

WILLMAR -- No one was injured in a Saturday morning fire at a duplex on the 1200 block of 23rd Street Southeast in Willmar. The Willmar Fire Department and Willmar Ambulance were called to the scene at 11:24 a.m and were on site for about three h...

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WILLMAR - No one was injured in a Saturday morning fire at a duplex on the 1200 block of 23rd Street Southeast in Willmar.

The Willmar Fire Department and Willmar Ambulance were called to the scene at 11:24 a.m and were on site for about three hours.

It took firefighters from the Willmar, Kandiyohi and Blomkest Fire Departments over two hours to contain the fire, which was reported to have started in the garage of one of the residences. The cause of the fire, according to Willmar Fire Chief and Fire Marshal Frank Hanson, is believed to be a small propane torch. The resident of the duplex had been using the torch to de-ice his mailbox, Hanson said, and then put the torch away. How exactly the torch started the fire is still unknown.

According to a press release from the Willmar Fire Department, when the first firefighters arrived on scene they found heavy smoke and flames coming from the garage on one side of the duplex.

Fire crews attacked the fire through the overhead garage door. The fire was contained to the garage, which sustained smoke and fire damage. The residence suffered smoke damage.

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The connected residence and garage had minor smoke damage.

Also assisting the Willmar Fire Department was the Kandiyohi Fire Department, Blomkest Fire Department, Willmar Ambulance, Willmar Police Department, Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office and Willmar Municipal Utilities.

Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email slindrud@wctrib.com or direct 320-214-4373.


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