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Almont – An overnight fire heavily damaged an eastern Michigan deer-processing plant that’s known for its iconic meat market.

The fire began late Thursday at the Country Smokehouse in Lapeer County’s Almont Township and spread quickly through the business. Firefighters from six departments extinguished the fire in about two hours.

Business owner Steve Francis tells WWJ-AM he plans to rebuild, saying that “30 years of our lives is tied up in this business.”

The station reports that the business is Michigan’s largest deer-processing facility and is known for the jerky and sausages sold at its meat market. The fire occurred just after the start of deer hunting season.

Officials say the fire doesn’t appear suspicious. WXYZ-TV reports that the fire marshall will investigate the cause of the fire at business.

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