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Hey Lisa

Have you heard anything about rebuilding the KOA up there or do I need to look elsewhere? The campgrounds where you guys had the first womens get together looked good. Along with all the good stuff you had to say about it.

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Hey DeeDee, good to hear you're starting the planning for this summer!! Yeah!! We stayed at Paul Waldowski's place On Mille Lacs called Appeldoorn's Sunset Bay Resort.

Here's the article from the Pine Jounal from Oct. 16, 2008 about the KOA fire (I finally found it!):

A fire at the Carlton KOA Monday morning destroyed the campground’s main building.

Owners William and Barb Higton had closed the campground for the season on Sunday and William Higton said he had turned off the water and performed other closing duties before leaving the building around 1 a.m. He then headed to his home a few hundred feet away and went to sleep.

“We woke up to the police banging on our door at about 6 a.m.,” Barb Higton said.

A fire destroyed the main building at the KOA in Carlton Monday. A passer-by saw the burning building and alerted authorities. When firefighters arrived flames were shooting through the roof of the building, which contained a laundry room, TV room, showers, game room and a store. A swimming pool behind it was spared.

Fire suppression efforts were hampered somewhat because there are no hydrants in the area, according to Cloquet Fire Captain and Paramedic Steve Kolodge. The building, located at 1381 Carlton Road, falls into Cloquet Fire Department jurisdiction.

Fire department personnel and/or equipment came from Cloquet, Perch Lake, Esko and Carlton as well as Cloquet Police. They had the fire contained by 9 a.m. but monitored the scene for much of the day. Fire officials did not immediately know the cause of the fire and an investigation began on Tuesday.

Cloquet Fire Captain and Paramedic Gordy Meagher said the investigation will take at least several weeks.

“We have a lot of digging to do,” he explained. “The structure was so badly damaged with most of the roof fallen into the floor.”

William Higton said he was just thankful no one was inside the building at the time of the fire.

Kolodge said the damage to the building, which is a total loss, was estimated at $400,000.

The campground has been open since 1975 and the Higtons, who have owned the campground for 10 years, are insured.

“I’m already brainstorming ideas for a new building," William Higton said. “What else can you do?”

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