Governor offers home phone number, help to fire-torn Madelia

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton spent Friday morning in the small town of Madelia, meeting with city leaders, business owners and residents just two days after a fire destroyed the heart of Main Street. Speaking to a full room, the governor offered his personal phone number and pledged executive action to help Madelia bounce back. 

"I live alone with two German shepherds who don't answer the phone," Dayton said.

The fire started in a flower shop just after 2 a.m. Wednesday morning. Witnesses heard what sounded like explosions as flames quickly spread to neighboring buildings. High winds and blizzard conditions made it difficult for firefighters to control the fire. The winter storm closed a number of county roads and delayed help from 9 neighboring fire departments.

At least 7 buildings were destroyed, leaving a gaping hole on Main Street. The full cost of the loss is still being calculated. The State Fire Marshal and Office of Pipeline Safety are investigating, but it could take months to figure out what caused the massive fire.

Madelia is located about about 25 miles southwest of Mankato, Minn.