Updated: January 28, 2020 05:38 PM
Created: January 28, 2020 07:53 AM
(ABC 6 News) -
The community of Blooming Prairie is heartbroken after a staple within their town was burned down early Tuesday morning.
According to Blooming Prairie Police Chief Greg Skillestad, the first call came in around 6:10 a.m. Tuesday morning by an employee of The Bakery, located on at 345 Main Street East. By 6:17 a.m., smoke could be seen from the exterior of the building.
Those inside The Bakery were able to escape from the building unharmed as firefighters attempted to put out the flames. Chief Skillestad tells ABC 6 News that the flames became too dangerous for the firefighters, so they had to evacuate the building for their safety. Blooming Prairie, Hayfield, Ellendale, Geneva, Claremont, and Owatonna all helped put out the fire throughout Tuesday morning into the early afternoon.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this time; the 100-year-old or so building not only housed The Bakery but also an apartment on the second floor. The tenants that lived inside were not home at the time.
Those in Blooming Prairie told ABC 6 News that The Bakery was a "staple" within the town, drawing in folks from near and as far as Owatonna for their delicious doughnuts and lunch menu. One employee of Prairie Family and Sports Chiropractic says that everyone knew the owner simply as "Greg the Baker" and recalled when The Bakery closed for two weeks around Christmas the town "didn't know what to do". Another gentleman from Blooming Prairie recalled how he used to stop at The Bakery before school to get a doughnut. Down the street, the owner of the Pizza Cellar says when she saw the smoke, she was absolutely "heartbroken" for Greg and the town saying she would go there to get fresh buns for her burgers.
Mayor Esplan spoke to ABC 6 News over the phone, saying he wants to personally thank all of the volunteer firefighters and emergency personnel who helped put out the fire. He says the community is wondering what they're going to do now that The Bakery is destroyed. He also said, though not confirmed, based on the damage the building sustained it may have to be torn down.
A gofundme page has been set up for the tenants who lived above The Bakery, if you wish to donate you can by clicking here. Stay with ABC 6 News for the latest on this developing story.
(ABC 6 News) - Blooming Prairie Police Chief says no one was hurt in the Tuesday morning fire.
The first calls came in shortly after 6 a.m. and as of 9:30 a.m., firefighters had to pull out of the fighting back the flames because the situation became too dangerous.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this time and surrounding businesses are still operating as normal.
This is a developing story, stay with ABC 6 News for the latest.
(ABC 6 News) - The Blooming Prairie Fire Department has confirmed a fire at The Bakery on Main St. E.
Crews have been on scene for almost an hour.
Officials are urging people to avoid the area.
ABC 6 News has a crew heading to the scene.
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