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Fire damages Copy Cat Printing building and apartments in Minocqua

An early Monday morning fire heavily damaged a building that housed long-time Minocqua business Copy Cat Printing.

Police said no one was injured in the fire, but one person was taken to a nearby hospital for a preexisting condition.

Minocqua Fire Chief Luke Taylor said the fire department got the call around 4 a.m. The south side of the 2-story wood-frame structure was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived.

The upstairs contained two apartments. All the occupants were adults, Taylor said, and they got out safely.

In the back of the structure was an attached one-story building that housed the Copy Cat business. The chief said it sustained smoke and water damage, but the full extent of damage is not available.

The chief said a vehicle parked adjacent to the building had caught fire, likely in the engine compartment. The fire spread to the building and also to another car parked nearby. He said one or more oxygen tanks in a vehicle exploded.

They had the fire mostly contained by 5 a.m., the chief said. But it took a couple more hours to put out flames further inside and along the roof line.

The Copy Cat building, located along U.S. Highway 51 just north of the Island of Minocqua, is owned by Rick Engels, who started the business in 1996. Lakeland Union High School’s WINGS program had a small storefront (Nest ‘n’ Brew) in the lower level where students sold school-related merchandise and coffee.

Most of the exterior of the two-story structure is still standing, but the interior is gutted. A nearby garage sustained significant heat damage to its exterior. Both vehicles were destroyed.

All lanes of Highway 51 were blocked during the firefighting effort and traffic was rerouted a short distance along Lakeview Drive and Old Highway 70. The scene was cleared and traffic flowing by 8 a.m.

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