BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: 7 area departments battle fire in downtown BP
Firefighters from four local fire departments fought an early morning fire at The Bakery in Blooming Prairie on Tuesday, Jan. 28.
Bakery owner Gregg Fristedt said he and two other bakery store employees were in the building when the fire broke out. Fristedt said he called 911 to report the fire shortly after 6 a.m.
A tenant reportedly lives above The Bakery and had already gone to work prior to the fire being noticed.
There were no injuries in the fire.
"It's beyond words," said Fristedt, as he watched firefighters from Blooming Prairie, Ellendale, Claremont and Hayfield fight heavy smoke caused by the fire.
Blooming Prairie's ladder truck was positioned at the intersection of Main Street and NE 3rd Ave.
Sportstitch, a business just to the west of The Bakery, was damaged by the heavy smoke. Some of the Sportstitch equipment was removed from the building as fire fighters controlled the fire.
The Bakery is one of the more popular Main Street attractions and is well known for its rolls and donuts. Many coffee groups gather daily at The Bakery. Fristedt said he was in his 23rd year as owner of The Bakery.
It is speculated that the fire started in the basement of The Bakery, located in an old bank building.
"It's great that nobody was hurt," said Blooming Prairie Police Chief Greg Skillestad.
"It's just stuff," remarked Sportstitch owner Linda Klemmensen when reflecting on the fire that also engulfed her business with smoke. She was thankful that her husband Randy and emergency responders helped remove some of her equipment.
Klemmensen is also a First Responder with the local ambulance crew.
Fristedt talked with local firefighters as he stood in front of The Bakery building. He also found sanctuary in the office of Prairie Family & Sports Chiropractic as he sipped on a cup of coffee he was given.
"Not a good way to start the day," said a Main Street business employee as she reported for work across the street from The Bakery.
"I could smell the smoke from my home which is three miles away," said Farmers & Merchants State Bank President James Fiebiger.
The Minnesota State Fire Marshal's office will investigate the cause of the fire which is not known at this time.
Fristedt said there was no bakery in town when he opened his pastry shop in a building that was the home for several banks. The building, which carries a 345 Main West address, was built in 1875.
Fristedt, a native of Alexandria, went to bakery school in Mankato for one year, worked in Minneapolis for well known baker Cliff Myhr. He ran a bakery at Barlow Foods in Rochester and worked at Cub Foods in Rochester. From 1992 to 1996, he sold bakery supplies.
His day normally starts at 3:30 a.m. and extends to 4 in the afternoon.