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Weekend fire damages church retreat center near Paynesville

The main lodge at the Lake Koronis Assembly Grounds near Paynesville was damaged early Saturday in a fire that's believed to have been caused by an electrical short.

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Fire damaged the main lodge of the Lake Koronis Assembly Grounds, a church retreat center near Paynesville. Photo courtesy of the Stearns County Sheriff's Department

PAYNESVILLE — An electrical short is believed to have caused a fire Saturday morning that damaged the main lodge at a church retreat center near Paynesville.

The fire was reported at 6:04 a.m. Saturday by a man who was ice fishing on Lake Koronis and saw fire at the rear of the main lodge of the Lake Koronis Assembly Grounds, 15752 Lake Ave. in Paynesville Township.

The fire was on the northwest corner of the building of the historic youth and family church retreat center, which was started in 1922.

According to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, firefighters were able to contain the fire before it spread to other areas of the building or to other nearby buildings.

All occupants of the building were able to evacuate safely.

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An initial investigation reveals the fire started from a possible electrical short from a large outdoor food cooler unit.

The State Patrol, Paynesville Police Department, Paynesville Fire and Rescue, Lake Henry Fire and Rescue, and New London Fire & Rescue assisted at the scene.

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Fire damaged the main lodge of the Lake Koronis Assembly Grounds, a church retreat center near Paynesville. Photo courtesy of the Stearns County Sheriff's Department.

Related Topics: FIRES
Carolyn Lange is a features writer at the West Central Tribune. She can be reached at clange@wctrib.com or 320-894-9750
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