Update 6:45 p.m.: 4 fire departments called to Corral in Nelson W/VIDEO
Fire started around 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 14
NELSON — A popular restaurant that's been in downtown Nelson for decades went up in smoke and flames Monday, Nov. 14.
At about 10:44 a.m., the Osakis Fire Department was called to the Corral Saloon and Eatery in Nelson for reports of smoke coming out of the restaurant.
When officers and crews arrived, there was heaving smoke billowing out of the restaurant and flames were also visible. The Alexandria Fire Department was quickly summoned for mutual aid.
Osakis Fire Chief Craig Dropik said as he was en route, he spoke with his assistant chief and because they knew the layout of the building and the structure, they decided to page out the Carlos Fire Department for water. He said the Alexandria Fire Department assisted with tankers, a ladder truck, water and manpower. About after a half an hour, the Forada Fire Department was also called for water.
Dropik said firefighters were getting water from several sources, including a hydrant off Lilac Lane, which is the last hydrant in the Alexandria fire district. He said they were also getting water from the Nelson ball field, which has a well on it. He said they had set it up as a filling station. In addition, Dropik said he was sending Osakis trucks back and forth from Osakis to fill up with water.
The building was fully engulfed in flames and smoke and Dropik said the restaurant was a total loss. However, he said they were able to salvage the structure of the attached bottle shop, although there was heavy smoke damage.
County Road 9 from County Road 82 into Nelson was shut down and people were asked to stay away from the area. The Douglas County Sheriff's Posse will be at the site of the fire overnight to keep an eye on things and to make sure nothing reignites.
Dropik said that an excavation crew was called to come in and pull apart the restaurant portion. He expected crews to be back out there on Tuesday.
No injuries were reported, but North Memorial Ambulance was also on scene as a precaution.
Dropik said the State Fire Marshal was called out and it is not known yet what caused the fire. It remains under investigation.
The Corral is owned by Mark Scheller and Sue Hawkinson.