MADELIA, Minn. (KMSP) - For any city, Main Street is the vein that runs deep through the heart of a community. Earlier this month, it was severed when a fire destroyed a big chuck of downtown Madelia in southern Minnesota.
Madelia is just a small town of over 2,000 people. If the same degree of fire happened in nearby Mankato, it would be the equivalent of losing 200 businesses.
Preferred Printing Company and owner Dan McCabe were just 27 feet from being part of the disaster. The company is luckily still standing to see its 25th year on Main Street.
“It took your breath away, it was astounding to see that. And to know we were that close,” McCabe said.
McCabe did not want the eight destroyed businesses to feel alone, so they’ve been donating and printing “Madelia Strong” t-shirts to not only help bring the town together, but raise money for fire victims.
“Originally, we did 100. They were gone in ten minutes. We did another 100, and they were gone before we got here,” McCabe said. “Then we did 500, and those were all gone.“
So, they printed another thousand, he said.
Nicole Griensewic oversees the Region Nine Development Commission -- “Everyone’s just coming together saying, 'how can we help?'”
Firefighter Dana McCabe said even the fire trucks that once brought hoses later brought roses and other Valentine’s Day flowers from the vendors of a flower shop lost in the fire.
“We realized early on everyone's here, everyone's part of the solution. And we hope six months from now we're still part of the solution,” McCabe said.
The fire is still under investigation. If you’d like to help the community, click here for more information.