Flooded Waterville hit by major downtown fire

WATERVILLE, Minn. - For the second time in as many weeks, tiny Waterville was the center of Minnesota news.The flood-ravaged town suffered a devastating fire to one of its oldest buildings.

The Rogers building, built by L.D. Rogers, the founder of Waterville housed three apartments and the "Barrels of Hope" store with clothing for needy citizens. All was leveled by the blaze.

"I woke up this morning, someone was pounding on my door and that was about 20 after 6 and they told me that the building was on fire," said Nancy Joyner, 64, one of the building's occupants. She told KARE 11 that she lost everything.

"I mean clothing, furniture. I had my grandma's antique view-master that was priceless, in the family and it's gone," said Joyner.

"It is one thing to overcome the physical impact of the floods and the fire and the buildings destruction, the other thing is the emotional impact," said Stephen Mihalik, Waterville Mayor.

The daughter of one of the families who lost everything in the fire also lost all of her graduation money. However, there was no loss of life and no injuries, for which all expressed gratitude.

"I woke up from my dad's telling everybody to get out of the house, that there's a fire and it's just smoky in our apartment," said Miranda Carlson, 16. "You know, just thought of grabbing important things. The first thing I grabbed was my dog."

She saved the pet and the ashes of her late Grandfather. All else was lost.

"I don not really know what we are going to do," said Carlson. "We are going to have to kind of start all over."

The Red Cross is assisting the families displaced by the fire.


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