Several SE Kansas Businesses Damaged in Fire

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INDEPENDENCE, Kan. (AP) _ Investigators say a fire in southeastern Kansas caused extensive damage to several businesses including a tavern and a newspaper office.

The Independence Police Department says a fire broke out just minutes before the start of the annual Doo-Dah Parade, which is part of the Neewollah Festival.

Detective Harry Smith says businesses on West Main were damaged. The Wagon Wheel Club was reported as a total loss. The offices of The Independence News also had extensive damage.

Two other businesses, a furniture store and a pawn shop, had water damage.

Smith says there were no reports of injuries.

The Kansas State Fire Marshall's office is assisting in the investigation of what officials call a suspicious fire.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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