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Forum News Service, Published January 03 2014

Fire destroys only grocery store in northwest Minnesota town

GONVICK, Minn. - The Minnesota state fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause of a fire early Thursday that destroyed the only grocery store in Gonvick.

Firefighters battled 30-below temperatures and a dwindling water supply in an unsuccessful attempt to save Vandy’s Country Market, Gonvick’s only grocery store, after the alarm sounded at about 3:40 a.m. Thursday, according to the Clearwater County Sheriff’s Department. No injuries were reported.

Flames were shooting out of the basement when Clearbrook-Gonvick Police Chief Daniel Gazelka and officers from Bagley and the sheriff's department arrived on the scene, Gazelka said.

Water had to be hauled from Clearbrook, about five miles away, because of a low water level in Gonvick’s water tower. However, the city’s drinking water was not affected, according to a spokeswoman in the city clerk’s office.

Firefighters from Gonvick, Clearbrook and Bagley battled the fire throughout the day.

While the cause remained unknown Friday morning, it did not appear to be suspicious, Gazelka said.

Gonvick, a community of about 280, is about 90 miles east of Grand Forks, N.D.