PAYNESVILLE TOWNSHIP -- A large shed is destroyed and a family pet is dead after a fire near Paynesville Wednesday.

The Stearns County Sheriff's office got a call about an outbuilding on fire in the 17000 block of Heatherwood Drive at about 3:45 p.m. The property is located about a half-mile east of the city of Paynesville.

Neighbors went to check out the building and discovered heavy black smoke pouring out of the west side of the structure.

The property owner, Dale Hess, wasn't home at the time but relayed that there was a family dog inside the shed. The dog didn't survive the fire.

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Hess had been the last person inside the shed earlier in the afternoon and hadn't noticed anything unusual.

The State Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the blaze.

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