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Otter Tail Lake bait shop destroyed by fire

An early-morning fire on Dec. 26 destroyed Ken's Tackle on the southwest side of Otter Tail Lake.

A passerby, at 4:19 a.m., called emergency personnel, reporting that smoke and flames were visible and coming through the roof.

The roof had already caved in when first responders arrived at the scene. The walls collapsed shortly thereafter, according to the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office.

"The owner arrived at the site of the fire and said he had recently been battling frozen water lines," said a spokesperson from the sheriff's office. "He had wrapped some lines with heat tape on Dec. 25."

The Battle Lake and Ottertail fire departments, along with Ringdahl Ambulance, were also on the scene.

One year ago, Ken's Tackle went through a major face-lift remodel and had a wide-open look to the floor space. Owner Gary Peterson took pride that his remodeling made the bait shop "look fresh and really nice."

Ken's Tackle was located on the southwest side of the lake, just north of Guzzler's restaurant. Many of Peterson's customers fished Otter Tail, Dead, Rush, East and West Lost, Deer and Twin lakes.