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Arson suspected in Chakya Street fire

Accidental causes have been ruled out in a fire that destroyed a vacant home in Welch April 6, Red Wing Fire Marshal Andy Speltz reported Tuesday.

Red Wing Fire crews were called to 1815 Chakya St. just before 10 that morning and were able to extinguish the fire within 30 minutes. But the structure, which is owned by Chris Leith, and its contents were destroyed.

Speltz said initial investigations indicated that the fire originated in a bedroom near the home's main entrance or on the exterior of the home immediately north of the main entrance.

Accidental causes such as a cooking fire, open flame, careless smoking, home heating equipment, electrical, lighting and child fire play have been ruled out.

The investigation is being turned over to the Red Wing Police Department.

If anyone has information regarding this fire they are encouraged to contact the Arson Hot-Line at 1-800-723-2020. Rewards of up to $2,500 are available for information leading to the identification of persons responsible for this fire.