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Kruse Motors fire appears to have been electrical, but much remains up in the air

July 18, 2012
By Deb Gau , Marshall Independent

MARSHALL - More than two months after a fire closed down Kruse Ford-Lincoln's dealership building in Marshall, some things still aren't fully resolved, owner Bob Kruse said. However, Kruse said Tuesday it appears the cause of the fire was electrical.

Kruse said the cause of the fire was not suspicious, and started with a piece of office equipment. "The wires got hot," he said, and the fire burned for some time before smoke was reported.

The fire was reported around 8:45 p.m. on May 2. While a fast response from the Marshall Fire Department prevented even worse damage - Kruse said the flames had started burning through a firewall meant to protect the building against explosions - the toll on the dealership's office and showroom was extensive. While investigators and insurance representatives went through the building, operations at the dealership moved across the street to the Kruse Buick-GMC location.

"We were fortunate in that a body shop was being built in the old GMC store," and service operations could be moved there, said Kruse Buick-GMC general manager Michael Crowley.

"We had two disasters, one each year," Kruse said. The dealerships were already recovering from damage caused by the July 1, 2011, storms when the fire happened.

The Buick-GMC dealership, in turn, moved out to the former Anton Chevrolet dealership along Minnesota Highway 19 in Marshall.

The Kruse Ford-Lincoln dealership building is still closed off. But Kruse said the eventual plan is to relocate both Marshall dealerships. Kruse Motors has purchased land along Minnesota Highway 19, near the intersection with Highway 23, for future development.



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