ROGERS, Minn. (FOX 9) - Early Christmas morning last year, the Francis Drake Hotel, a housing shelter for the homeless in downtown Minneapolis, went up in flames.
“I was angry, trust me I was really angry,” said Steve Preston, who survived the fire.
The 66-year-old was among more than 200 people to escape the fire. There was only so much he could save.
“I had coins, books, a cat. The cat won,” said Preston.
All of his belongings, including a coin and comic book collection worth at least $10,000, were eventually buried under a pile of rubble.
“To see 18 years of your life…just boom, you know,” he said.
He counted his losses and months later, demolition crews with Veit and Company made a discovery.
“We were working on the last portion of the building and we just happened to pull a wall back with a bucket and that’s when the comics caught my eye,” said Travis Brown, a demolition worker.
Before them, Preston’s beloved coins and comics were still intact. Tuesday, at Veit headquarters in Rogers, Preston recovered what he thought he’d lost.
“It’s a big part of my life, I suffered for this,” said Preston.
“It’s pretty exciting because it’s a very tragic story of how this happened, so to give anything back is a God-send,” said Brown.
As Preston reflects on a painful chapter in his life, this is a happy ending.
“I’m just so thankful, I don’t know what I could do,” said Preston.