By Forum News Service

A major fire destroyed six to eight businesses Wednesday morning in downtown Madelia in southern Minnesota.

The city of about 2,300 is about 25 miles southwest of Mankato.

Madelia Mayor Mike Grote told radio station KTOE of Mankato that the fire started about 3 a.m. on the north side of the downtown business district and spread quickly along main street.

Culligans, American Family Insurance, a Mexican restaurant, sewing shop, dental office and hair salon all caught fire after an explosion from one of the businesses.

Tuesday’s blizzard and closed roads made it difficult for emergency responders to reach the scene.

Mayor Mike Grote says the loss of so many businesses on Main Street is a big blow to the city.

“You know, we’ll never fully recover,” he told KTOE.