Fire destroys historic downtown Waterville building


A morning blaze tore through a historic building in downtown Waterville, Minnesota, Thursday, and what's left of it is being torn down, the Faribault Daily News reports.

Nobody was injured in the fire, KEYC reports, which crews responded to around 6:30 a.m.

The building itself (called the Rogers building) was constructed in 1857, burned down in 1891, then was rebuilt again, the Daily News says.It's named after L.Z. Rogers, the town's founder.

According to the Rochester Post-Bulletin, officials say whatever is left of the building will have to be torn down.

The Rogers building was home to four apartments, a hair salon (Cutting Connection) and a charity thrift shop (Barrels of Hope), the Mankato Free Press reports. The Daily News says 15 residents were displaced. The Red Cross is on the scene.

Waterville Fire Chief Chris Meskan tells WCCO the cause of the fire as of Thursday afternoon is unknown, but it appears to have started in a courtyard outside of the building. The Free Press reports Meskan says it could have been caused by a recreational vehicle located there.

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Waterville, which sits between two lakes, Sakatah and Tetonka, with the Canon River running between, was one of the towns hit hard by recent heavy rains and flooding.

Many of the 2,000 or so people in the community helped fill 40,000 sandbags last week in preparation for the high waters – Gov. Mark Dayton toured the area on June 28.

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