FAIRFAX, Minn. (KEYC) – The Fairfax Fire Department responded to a downtown structure fire around 4:30 a.m. Sunday.
The department reported that all three affected buildings were lost.
Fairfax was assisted by ten other agencies, including eight fire departments, the Renville County Sheriff’s Office and the Central Region Co-op.
Nancy Jo Gohnert was the owner of Smokey Hollow Cafe, one of the buildings that disappeared in the fire.
The cafe was the only complete loss of business as the other two units were empty.
“I’m going to miss my clients, so I have to start doing something because I miss them so much,” Jo Gohnert said.
Jo Gohnert, who spent the day trying to salvage what she could from the building, said there was a tough road ahead, but she wasn’t dissuaded.
“There’s nothing left, that’s for sure. It’s completely destroyed. So I just said, find me a building, a roasting pan and a pot of coffee, and I’ll open the door,” she said.
Jo Goehnert joins caring friends and community members in the field, trying to comfort her during difficult times.
She said the Fairfax community was like her family and more was needed to stop them from helping each other.
“Five years ago, this thing first needed a village to keep this thing going, and it takes a village to keep it going, and I know I have no doubts that this town will support me and support me. Not in the economy On, I’m not saying they have to, I’m just saying their goodwill supports me and I know it’s going to happen,” Joe Gonet said.
Fairfax Police said the cause of the fire that destroyed the nearly 150-year-old building is still under investigation.
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