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UPDATE: Extensive Damage In Bennington Fire

Todd Pittenger - March 31, 2014 11:58 am

A Monday morning fire extensively damages a business in downtown Bennington.

Ottawa County Rural Fire District #4 Chief Mark Whitesell says that first responders were called at 10:49 to the report of a fire at Westside Ventures.

Firefighter / EMT Tony Swetson was in the business, which houses a small grocery store and restaurant, when the fire started. He says he could smell smoke, went to the back of the building, and discovered an active fire. He got everyone out of the buidling, called the fire in, and went to the station to get his gear and trucks.

Crews quickly responded, and got the fire contained before it spread to neighboring buildings.

Whitesell says “we are very lucky, we could have lost the entire downtown”. He credits the quick response.

Swetson says there is extensive heat and smoke damage to the grocery store and restaurant. It will have to close indefinitely.

There is smoke damage to a hair salon to the north, as well as some smoke damage to a building to the south.

The fire appears to have started in the kitchen area. 

Whitesell says that the state fire Marshalll’s office has been contacted to  help in the investigation.

ORIGINAL:: A fire damages a business in Downtown Bennington Monday morning.

Firefighters were called to the report of a fire at Westside Ventures mid-morning.

Not a lot of details are yet available, but several blocks of the the downtown area of Bennington are blocked off as crews work the scene.

Westside Ventures houses a grocery store and restaurant in Downtown Bennington.

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