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Associated Press, Published May 11 2009

Vacant homes torched in Sargent County

FARGO (AP) – Authorities say they suspect arson in a spate of fires at vacant homes and farms in Sargent County.

Sheriff Travis Paeper said five fires in the county southwest of Fargo were reported within half an hour of each other on Sunday afternoon. No one was hurt.

Authorities have not yet tallied up the damage. A state fire investigator and a federal agent have been investigating.

“Most of them were abandoned farm sites,” Paeper said. “One was an unoccupied home. The people hadn’t lived in it for a few years.

“We’re working on a few leads,” the sheriff said. “We got a lot of real good help from the public, as far as calling in with descriptions of vehicles and different things they saw.”

Authorities got the first call about 1:40 p.m. Sunday. The burned buildings included one north of Cayuga and two north of Rutland.

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