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Firefighters battle flames, sub-zero temps

Brownton, Stewart and Winthrop firefighters battled flames and subzero temperatures Monday at a house fire on 50th Street, just west of Tagus Avenue, southwest of Brownton.
The fire was reported by a passerby at about 7:50 a.m., and responding deputies reported that it was fully engulfed.
The Brownton Fire Department called for mutual aid from Stewart and Winthrop, who provided water and manpower.
The home was a rental property, but no one had been living it for more than a week.
Brownton Fire Chief Chris Hansch said the fire apparently started in a basement wood stove.
After it was discovered the house was unoccupied, it was razed by a bulldozer. Hansch said the department was on scene until about 2 p.m.
While the departments were at the fire, Brownton also had a medical call in town and freed up its rescue truck to respond to that.
Shortly after clearing the house fire, the Stewart department was called to a wood stove fire on Yacht Avenue near Stewart. The wood stove was located outside the house, and the fire was extinguished with minor smoke damage. Stewart was assisted by Brownton and Buffalo Lake at that fire, which was reported at about 12:45 p.m.