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Thief River Falls principal loses home to fire

The principal of Lincoln High School in Thief River Falls lost his house Thursday after a fire caused "very extensive" damage, Polk County officials said.

The fire at Tom Hunt's rural home, located about four miles north and 1½ miles west of Crookston on Highway 75, was called in 12:52 a.m. Thursday. Firefighters were on scene shortly after 1 a.m.

Dan Crane, a firefighter for the city of Crookston, said the entire upper level of the house was a complete loss. The fire was confined to the structure, and no damage to neighboring properties was reported.

Crane said the fire started in the area of an outdoor hot tub. There is an ongoing investigation to determine if the hot tub was the actual cause of the blaze.

"The state fire marshal is investigating, and that's the area they're looking at," he said.

Crane said the family was able to get out safely.

But one of the responding firefighters fell through the house's deck and broke a rib.