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State fire marshall says blaze that destroyed Elmer's BBQ was an accident

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OTTER TAIL COUNTY, Minn. -- The Minnesota State Fire Marshal's office told WDAY on Monday, Sept. 11, that a discarded cigarette is the likely cause of an "accidental fire" that destroyed Elmer's BBQ restaurant on Otter Tail Lake.

Authorities say the fire started on the east side of the building, where employees take their smoke breaks.

The fire marshal found hundreds of cigarette butts in that area.

State investigators believe the fire started outside near that area, then moved to the interior.

The Fire Marshal's office considers the case closed.