An early-morning fire Saturday in rural St. Louis County destroyed a house and likely killed a family dog.

According to Palo Fire Chief Mike Skinner, a house fire in the 4400 block of Highway 100 in Palo was reported at 5:14 a.m.

No one was home at the time of the fire, but the home "is a total loss," Skinner said. A dog is believed to have died in the fire, Skinner said.

The Palo, Lakeland and Colvin fire departments responded to the fire.

The Minnesota State Fire Marshal Office is investigating the fire, as is standard procedure, Skinner said.

Palo is about 10 miles south of Biwabik and Aurora.