A fire broke out at Rapper’s Eatery and Ale in Downtown Alexandria on Tuesday morning around 5:00 on the West Side of Broadway Street.
BREAKING: Raapers Eatery & Ale in Alexandria Downtown Merchants Association is on fire. Alexandria Fire Department Crews actively putting out flames. We are talking about it this morning on KIKV 100.7 FM Alexandria Minnesota!
Posted by Niki Knight on Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Someone living above one of the Downtown businesses called 911 after seeing heavy smoke coming into their apartment.
People living above the businesses along Broadway Street were evacuated, and around 20 people were displaced from the fire. Alexandria Fire Chief, Jeff Karrow tells KIK FM they and staying at a local hotel. The American Red Cross is helping the families during this time.
More than 110 fire fighters from Central Minnesota took the call, and spent hours battling the flames. Karrow says they used a drone with thermal imaging for the first time, it allowed them to locate hot spots and more effectively use their hoses.
Multiple locally owned businesses have been impacted from the fire. We are told crews had to fight the fire from above because it was too dangerous to go inside. Four businesses were demolished to contain the fire, RM Tattoo, Raapers Eatery & Ale, Charlie’s Bazaar and Little Darlings Children’s Boutique. Hidden Treasures and Achieve Wellness Chiropractic Center were also impacted by the fire.
Karrow says this is a major loss for the community, these buildings were a major piece of the Downtown community.
The Douglas County Historical Society says, “The buildings lost today were the backdrop for countless memories for our generation and generations before. Over the course of a century-and-then-some, these buildings housed drugstores, groceries, restaurants, doctors, clothing stores, hairdressers, retail stores, and more. The 500 Block has been a cornerstone of life in Alexandria since the arrival of European settlers, with much of the structure lost today dating back to the 1880s and 1890s.”
Today, Alexandria lost a piece of our historic heart on Broadway. Some lost their businesses; some lost their homes….
Carlette Vernlund, who owns Charlie’s Bazaar, says she’ll be meeting with her insurance agent this week to determine how to proceed. Hidden Treasures posted on Facebook that they will be permanent closed.
Due to the devastating fire in downtown Alex. Hidden Treasures is now permanently closed
Such a sad day for me. 5 years in this beautiful building ❤️
Thank you to everyone that has reached out. We will be filling everyone in and getting everyone rescheduled as soon as we get things figured out!
Update: Sad day for all the business’ on 5th and Broadway downtown Alexandria. Almost everything is a total loss! We…
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As we watched them tear down the “CHARLIE’S BAZAAR” sign off the front of our building in their attempt to tear down the wall and stop the spreading fire, a piece of our hearts broke. We praise God that no lives were lost and thank the firefighters for their heroic efforts. We want to thank all our customers who have,over the past 21 years, blessed us with their business and their expressions of appreciation for our constant desire to help to create inspiring surroundings in their homes and work spaces. We also thank our”Downtown Family” as together we have built a vibrant, ever changing, ever growing, beautiful DOWNTOWN ALEXANDRA. As for us at Charlie’s Bazaar, there is a God-given desire to create beauty deep within us and we have to see how that manifests itself in our future and what may possibly rise from the ashes.
The Echo Press reports, “Broadway will be closed from Third Avenue to Sixth Avenue through Tuesday night. It will be patrolled by Alexandria Police Department, the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Posse to make sure there are no flare-ups.”
Update It appears all displaced residents in need of Red Cross services this evening have been helped so the Alexandria…
Area businesses also stepped up during the time, bringing food, socks, rides, and helping in any way they could.
Roers Bakery and the Sugar Shack brought over treats to feed the crews working to fight the fires.
Folks I’m gonna close shop for today. The smoke is still pretty thick down here. Keep saying those prayers for our Downtown family.
KIK FM also got a message from Marilynn, she says; “I was one of the rainbow rider busses that responded to help evacuate the people that lived above Rappers! Thank goodness they all got out safe! And a big thank you to Roers Bakery for bringing out donuts coffee and water.” She also tells us, “The 8 people that were on my bus (rainbow rider) had no socks and 1 man didn’t have a shirt, when I brought them to the police department they gave them socks and the guy received a shirt, they were very appreciative.”
The Alexandria Fire Department says an unbelievable amount of first responders came to help. The Osakis Fire Department, Garfield Fire and First Responders, Carlos Fire, Forada Fire and First Responders, Long Prairie Fire, Holmes City First Responders, North Ambulance, Alexandria Police Department, City streets and Park depts, City staff, Douglas County Sheriff’s, Douglas County Emergency Mgmt, Red Cross, Douglas County Posse, Ferguson Excavating for the amazing collaboration and response to this event. Somewhere around 110 firefighters rushed out to help, Law and EMS came together with a common mission and excelled as one big team.
“A personal kudos to the men and women of AFD…they all answered the call and whatever their role was today-they did hit it out of the park…very very proud of this amazing group,” was posted on Facebook by the Alexandria Fire Department.