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Abandoned house near Rochester burns to the ground, deputies call fire “suspicious”

NEAR ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX47) -- An investigation is ongoing after an abandoned house near Rochester was destroyed in a fire on Monday evening.

According to the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office, the building, located at 4617 70th Avenue NE, was a tax-forfeited house owned by Olmsted County.

Deputies said shortly after 6 p.m., a witness reported that the building was on fire. The witness also saw a person running from the house toward another house.

When deputies arrived, they found Joshua Bale, 37, of Stewartville in his boxers with severe burns on his body. He was airlifted by Mayo One to the Regions Hospital Burn Center in St. Paul.

The Sheriff's Office said it is not clear why Bale was there and further investigation is needed. Deputies said there may be narcotics involved in the incident.

Byron Tollefson

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