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Man dies in house fire in southwest Minnesota

LAKE LILLIAN, Minn. — One person has died in a house fire that broke out early Saturday morning near Lake Lillian in southwest Minnesota.

The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office said the fire was reported at 2:50 a.m. at a house on Minnesota Highway 7 about two miles east of Lake Lillian.

Some occupants of the house were initially unaccounted for, but by the time deputies arrived, only one remained missing.

Firefighters later found the man's body inside the residence, the Sheriff's Office said. His name is being withheld at this time.

There were no other reports of injuries. The cause of the fire is unknown.

Investigation into the fire and death is ongoing by the Minnesota Fire Marshal and Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office.

Fire departments from Lake Lillian, Cosmos, Atwater and Blomkest and the Lake Lillian and Willmar ambulance services were at the scene.

Firefighters had to contend with subzero cold. Traffic on Highway 7 also was affected by thick ice that formed on the road from the water used to battle the fire. Motorists had to use one lane and the Minnesota Department of Transportation issued an alert to expect travel delays. Two-lane traffic was restored by late Saturday afternoon, according to MnDOT.

It is the third fire-related death in Minnesota since Jan. 1. Two people died last week in a mobile home fire in Alexandria.

Fire deaths have been on a downward trend across the state but increased sharply last year to some of the highest levels since the early 2000s, according to state figures.

Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at http://healthbeat.areavoices.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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