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Century-old Hawley farmhouse destroyed by fire

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HAWLEY, Minn. – A fire destroyed a 100-year-old farmhouse near here Wednesday afternoon.

The fire was reported by a rural mail carrier, according to Clay County Sheriff’s Lt. Steve Todd. By the time the first fire truck arrived, the house was fully engulfed, said Hawley Assistant Fire Chief Justin Martin.

The roof collapsed minutes later, he said.

Todd said no one was home at the rural farmhouse at 24401 43rd Ave. N., where Dewayne and Belinda Clark live.

Three pets were believed to have been killed in the fire, said Red Cross spokesman Brian Shawn, but four dogs escaped unharmed.

Becky Radtke, a friend of the homeowners, drove from Pelican Rapids to collect the family’s dogs and take them in from the cold.

Radtke said she spoke by phone with Belinda Clark, who was out of town with her daughter. Radtke said Clark was “devastated.”

Shawn said the family plans to stay with neighbors in the interim. The Red Cross provided the family with funds for clothing and food, and with donated quilts and toys.

Todd said his department, and fire departments from Hawley, Hitterdal and Ulen responded. Investigators are working to determine the fire’s cause.

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