The Doreen's K9 Cuts and Paw Spa building on the 1500 block of State Highway 371 between Backus and Hackensack was destroyed Wednesday, Jan. 23, in a fire of undetermined cause.

Owner Doreen Sawyer announced she was sent reeling by the loss of a dog named Loretta in the conflagration.

"We lost our renter's dog," Sawyer said. "It was very sad."

Sawyer said the investigating fire marshal said the cause of the fire was undetermined due to the presence of a wood stove, old wiring and a space heater.

"Now we are waiting to hear back from our main adjuster whether we can tear it down now," Sawyer said. "Come spring or summer we are looking at whether we will rebuild. In the meantime, Paws and Claws called me and said they would offer their grooming room to me again as they did before on Mondays and Saturdays because that's the time they have available."

Before May 1, Sawyer operated out of a building near her home between Backus and Pine River, and it is possible that she might continue operation there; however, the visibility of the location between Backus and Hackensack had big advantages, which may determine the direction the business goes in the future.

Crews from Backus and Hackensack responded to the fire at 7:56 a.m. with an ambulance and Minnesota State Patrol also responding. The structure was a complete loss. Sawyer expressed thanks for her customer support in the aftermath of the fire.

"I'd like to say thank you to the customers," Sawyer said. "They have been very supportive, calling, making sure everything is OK and asking if they can help with anything. Thanks for the support and understanding."