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Firefighters try to douse flames at a White Oak Township home Wednesday afternoon. (Sarah Smith/Enterprise)

Fire destroys rural Akeley home

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A rural Akeley woman lost her home in a fire Wednesday afternoon that spewed black smoke into the air that was visible for miles.

Jody Burnet Dunham said she didn't know how the fire started shortly after 2:30 in White Oak Township in eastern Hubbard County.

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"I hope they find out," she said. "I came home and they were in my driveway."

"They" were the Akeley Fire Department, which called in neighboring Nevis under a mutual aid agreement when the fire spread through the structure and threatened to ignite a large propane tank in the yard.

The state fire marshal has been called in to investigate.

Only a charred shell remained of the sprawling one-story home.

"There were no pets inside; no plants, fortunately," Dunham said.

Neighbor Luanne Schroeder said she wasn't sure who called the fire in to emergency personnel.

"Some guys were out working in the field and saw the smoke," she said. "When I realized it was Jody's I called her. She was in the driveway."

Dunham, who works seasonally in Minneapolis and was headed back there when the fire broke out, was on her cell phone calling her insurer and canceling appointments in Minneapolis.

Firefighters didn't know the cause and wouldn't speculate at the scene.

Nearly 20 firefighters responded from both departments. They were still dousing the blaze at 4 p.m.

Tankers made numerous trips back into Akeley to refill their water.

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