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The Dale Schmidt residence, on Minnesota Street, is feared a total loss following a Monday morning fire, which firefighters from three departments fought for nearly four hours.

Rural East Otter Tail house believed total loss after morning fire

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A rural East Otter Tail home is believed to be a total loss, after an early morning fire raged through both the home and garage.

Two vehicles were also lost in the fire, at the Dale Schmidt residence, at 47207 Minnesota Street, southeast of Big Pine Lake.

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Firefighters were at the scene from 1:07 a.m. June 28 until about 4:30 a.m. later Monday morning--spraying more than 9,000 gallons of water on the fire. Responding were 22 Perham firefighters, eight from New York Mills; along with six reinforcements from the Dent Volunteer Fire Department. Mills provided back-up with a pumper and a tanker truck.

"There was not a room without smoke, structure or water damage," commented Perham Fire Chief Mark Schmidt. "When we arrived, the garage was fully involved, as well as the roof."

The family was awakened by the sounds of smoke detectors. Because the fire knocked out the landline phone, they were initially unable to phone in the fire, noted Schmidt.

Cause of the fire is uncertain, but Chief Schmidt was expecting a call from the Minnesota State Fire Marshall's Office when this edition went to press.

Red Cross was contacted for relief for the family, added Chief Schmidt.

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