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State Fire Marshal requests tips on arson fires near Mentor

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Three arson fires in vacant houses between Mentor and Fertile, Minn., on Monday presented a "significant danger" to public safety because they required the attention of several fire departments and Polk County's only on-duty deputies for several hours, a state fire marshal's office release said today.

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The fires prompted help from the Fertile and Mentor fire departments, which were set between 4:30 and 7 a.m. Monday.

"In addition, dry winter grasses and high winds would have endangered other property had the fire departments not extinguished the fires promptly," the release said.

People with information that may assist in the arson investigation are asked to call the Minnesota Arson Hotline, (800) 723-2020. Callers may choose to remain anonymous. Rewards are available for information that results in identification and conviction of the person or people responsible, according to the fire marshal's office.

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