Man Digs Through Rubble After Condo Fire

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Fire investigators are on scene of a condo fire that broke out last night near Otter Tail Lake.

The Boardwalk at Balmoral burned to the ground.

Luckily, no one was hurt.

KVRR News was at the burned out condo this afternoon and met up with one man who was looking through the rubble.

He lived in one of the 7 units that no longer exist.

Allen Koep was at home when the fire broke out.

Koep says, “I had just cut the lawn here. I returned the lawnmower and I was walking back down the road. It’s just up the road here a little where we put the lawn mowers in that and I saw the black smoke coming out of unit one.”

He doesn’t know how the fire started.

But he did say it took crews awhile to arrive to battle the blaze.

Koep says, “It takes them a half an hour to get here and they’re a volunteer fire department so basically the unit had burned down already by the time they got here. Only this end was partially left standing.”

It took up to 65–firefighters to gain control of the fire.

And they worked to keep it from spreading to these detached garages.

Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Barry Fitzgibbons says, “It was windy which contributed to making it more challenging to put the fire out.”

Authorities do not yet know how it started.

They say the condo is a total loss.

But Allen doesn’t see this as an end.

Allen says, “We lost everything but as I say I’m 77 so I guess…my wife says, ‘Start over with the little bit we have and not worry about it.'”

Allen and his wife plan to stay in the area.

Allen adds, “For a retired person who’s a sportsman who likes to fish and golf you couldn’t find anything nicer.”

The people displaced are staying with family and friends around the area.

Last night, many were put up at Thumper Pond Resort.