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Published October 26, 2012, 02:41 PM

Fire destroys historic hotel in western Minnesota

ORTONVILLE, Minn. (AP) — Fire has destroyed a onetime grand hotel in Ortonville that was being renovated.

ORTONVILLE, Minn. (AP) — Fire has destroyed a onetime grand hotel in Ortonville that was being renovated.

Firefighters were called shortly after 3 a.m. Friday to the four-story Columbian Hotel on Main Street.

Fire Chief Al Arndt says firefighters had the flames under control in about two hours. But the building is a total loss.

Arndt tells the Star Tribune the fire originated in the basement, but the blaze is not suspicious.

The Columbian operated as a hotel until the 1960s. In the 1970s it was used as housing for the elderly.

In 1999, the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota listed the Columbian among that year's 10 "Most Endangered Properties."

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