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Authorities Investigate Sisseton Fire

October 3, 2012, 6:00 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Authorities Investigate Sisseton Fire

Authorities are still investigating a fire in a wooded area of Sisseton where neighbors say homeless people camp.

Charred remains and evidence of an investigation are all that are left of a fire that swept through the grove of trees Tuesday. As authorities were fighting the fire, they were evacuating nearby homes as well.

"The wind was pretty strong so it really pushed it pretty fast," Harold Bernard said.

Bernard, who lives near the trees, left with his family but some of his neighbors stayed, spraying the area near their homes with garden hoses.

A witness who lives next to the grove of trees where the fire spread says authorities were trying to resuscitate a man lying between the tree grove and a nearby cornfield.

Neighbors said homeless people had set up camp in those trees and were living there in tents. They also said investigators from the local to federal level have been looking for any potential witnesses.

"They were going through, coming through the housing and asking questions about if anybody had seen anything suspicious or if we heard anything unusual," Bernard said.

Bernard couldn't provide them with much beyond seeing the flames spread and smoke billow. One of his neighbors took video of the investigators looking for answers. Now those in the tribal housing development near Sisseton are the ones waiting for answers.

In addition to Sisseton firefighters, witnesses say a farmer was working up ground between the flames and nearby cornfield.

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