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40 horses die in Wadena County fire

VERNDALE, Minn. - Authorities are investigating an early Sunday fire in Wadena County that killed 40 horses.

The fire at R & J Horse Sales, a half-mile west of Verndale, was reported just after 6 a.m. Sunday, according to a news release.

Responding firefighters from Verndale and the Wadena County Sheriff's Department discovered the blaze in the southwest side of the building. Surrounding communities also responded to fire, the release said.

One section of the barn, the sales and tack area, kitchen area and office were destroyed in the fire.

Foul play is not suspected.

The Minnesota state fire marshal's office is assisting Wadena County in the investigation.