Waterville, Minn. fire destroys 157-year-old building - KMSP-TV

Waterville, Minn. fire destroys 157-year-old building

Posted: Updated:
WATERVILLE, Minn. (KMSP) -

Beverly Brown Nelson is a woman who believes in miracles. She ran a ministry, food shelf and an outreach center in the ground floor of the historic Rogers Building, which was destroyed by a fire that broke out just after 6 a.m. Thursday in downtown Waterville, Minn. VIEW PHOTOS

She also lived in one of the building’s apartments.

“The minute I walked out my back door, there was black, sooty smoke and white, cloudy smoke, and I could barely breathe,” Nelson said. “It’s such a devastation. Lives have been spared and I thank the good lord for that.”

The miracle in this case: Everyone who lived in the building’s four apartments escaped without injury. The devastation: That they lost almost everything..

“I just grabbed my purse and that was it,” said Nancy Joyner.

6 fire departments responded to the fire, which started outside of an apartment in the back, near where the gas lines enter the building. Within a few hours the fire gutted the building so deeply that the facade had to be pushed down before it collapsed.

The nameplate on the front of the building shows the history. It was built in 1857 -- the year Waterville was founded. And at the end of the building’s life, there is some tragic irony.

“If you look on the facade of that building, that speaks a lot -- that was a founding father of the city of Waterville, L.Z. Rogers,” said Waterville Fire Chief Chris Meskan. “L.Z. Rogers was the first fire chief of Waterville, too.”

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Woman struck, killed by Green Line train near U of M

    Woman struck, killed by Green Line train near U of M

    Sunday, August 31 2014 9:23 PM EDT2014-09-01 01:23:30 GMT
    A woman was struck and killed by a Metro Transit Green Line light rail train near a University of Minnesota neighborhood on Sunday morning.
    A woman was struck and killed by a Metro Transit Green Line light rail train near a University of Minnesota neighborhood on Sunday morning.
  • 28 new foods at Minnesota State Fair in 2014

    28 new foods at Minnesota State Fair in 2014

    Wednesday, June 25 2014 2:57 PM EDT2014-06-25 18:57:53 GMT
    The Minnesota State Fair is adding 28 new foods to the already massive, artery-clogging list of 500 foods from 300 different vendors. New food include everything from a bacon-wrapped turkey leg and beer gelato to a shrimp dog and chocolate salami.
    The Minnesota State Fair is adding 28 new foods to the already massive, artery-clogging list of 500 foods from 300 different vendors. New food include everything from a bacon-wrapped turkey leg and beer gelato to a shrimp dog and chocolate salami.
  • Have you seen this missing Annandale, Minn. man?

    Have you seen this missing Annandale, Minn. man?

    Sunday, August 31 2014 1:45 PM EDT2014-08-31 17:45:05 GMT
    A 25-year-old Annandale man has been missing since Aug. 22, and while police aren't releasing many details, family members worry that foul play may be involved, so on Saturday, they did what they've done for the last several days -- they went looking for him.
    A 25-year-old Annandale man has been missing since Aug. 22, and while police aren't releasing many details, family members worry that foul play may be involved, so on Saturday, they did what they've done for the last several days -- they went looking for him.
Widgets Magazine
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices