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This is the kitchen area between the Velvet Antler Restaurant and Whitetail Tavern where Tuesday night's fire is believed to have started. The establishment had closed an hour earlier, so no one was in the building at the time. Numerous motorists called 911 to report the blaze. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

Fire damages Highway 34 restaurant in Nevis

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Thirty firefighters and ten trucks from Nevis, Akeley and Park Rapids fought a blaze that gutted much of the Whitetail Tavern and Velvet Antler Restaurant/ lounge on Highway 34 late Tuesday night.

Nevis Fire Chief Kerry Swenson said the efforts saved the building from total loss.

The fire is believed to have started in the kitchen area around 10 p.m. The lounge had closed about an hour before, Swenson said.

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