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Published October 12, 2011, 02:36 PM

Barnesville barn fire appears suspicious, blaze marks fourth at farmstead in recent days

BARNESVILLE, Minn. –The fourth fire in just a few days started this morning at Matt and Tara Andvik’s farmstead outside of Barnesville, a suspected arson that destroyed the deck on their home and their barn.

By: Forum staff reports, INFORUM

BARNESVILLE, Minn. –The fourth fire in just a few days started this morning at Matt and Tara Andvik’s farmstead outside of Barnesville, a suspected arson that destroyed the deck on their home and their barn.

While Tara Andvik is a well-known bow hunter who has been the target of online threats from animal rights groups, her husband said they find it hard to believe the threats and the fires are linked.

“There would have to be some disconnect in that person’s brain to do that,” Matt Andvik said Wednesday afternoon. “It seems really extreme.”

The fire on the deck was reported to 911 about 2:40 a.m., according to dispatch logs. Investigators were on the scene still at about 6 a.m. when the barn ignited, said Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist.

Andvik said the barn and the deck are about 60 yards apart, and Bergquist said fire officials are confident both the fires this morning were intentionally set.

The sheriff said there are things found on the scene that suggest arson beyond the timing and the distance, but he didn’t disclose any further details.

Two grass fires had also been reported at the Andvik residence recently, said Bergquist. Logs of 911 calls show one of the fires was reported early Saturday.

Authorities are looking to see if there was a link between the four fires, the fires and the threats and the Barnesville fire and another suspected arson in Wahpeton set this morning, Bergquist said.

Matt Andvik said there was little of value lost in either fire, but the barn on the family farmstead had been built by his grandfather six decades ago.

“It’s more the memories than anything else,” he said.

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