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Minnesota's propane hotline lighting up

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Minnesota's propane hotline has been getting hundreds of calls a day from Minnesotans concerned about finding and paying for the fuel, which many people in rural Minnesota use to heat their homes. 

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The Department of Public Safety set up the line last week. Spokesman Doug Neville said the agency had to bring in additional operators to handle all the calls.

"We started on Thursday, with I think four operators. At it's peak on Friday there were 14 people in there. 

Staff from the state commerce department are available from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. daily to provide information about energy assistance programs and other county level resources, Neville said. 

An industry group says the price of propane in the Midwest has skyrocketed this winter because of high demand and changes to the pipeline delivery system.

Minnesota's propane hotline number is 1-800-657-3504. Neville said people in immediate danger of losing their heat should call 911.