FULDA — A repair shop in Fulda is considered a total loss following a fire on Tuesday morning that required the efforts of three fire departments.
Fulda Fire Chief Dave Baumhoefner said the fire was reported at 10:47 a.m. Tuesday at Redenius Repair. Store owner Norm Redenius had discovered flames inside the building when he arrived for work – and around the same time another person noticed flames coming from the south end of the building, located on a corner lot at 109 Second St. Northwest.
The Slayton Fire Department was soon called upon to provide additional firefighters, and the Worthington Fire Department was asked to bring in their ladder truck to tackle the flames between the building’s original rubber-covered flat roof. and the single-pitch steel roof that was added later. .
Baumhoefner said the fire was fully involved when his department arrived on the scene, with thick smoke billowing from the main part of the building. Murray County Sheriff’s Office deputies evacuated several homes downwind of the fire due to heavy smoke, and the City of Fulda hauled sand to create protection around the storm sewer intakes of the city due to fluids and water flowing from the structure.
Crews spent more than four hours at the scene working to extinguish the blaze and hot spots, Baumhoefner said, adding that firefighters had to remove the steel roof to reach the burning insulation and rubber roof. below.
On Wednesday, the state fire marshal visited the site and determined that the fire started in an electrical component on the south wall of the building annex.
Norm Redenius has operated a repair shop in the pair of buildings since the late 1970s, performing general automotive repairs, working on automatic transmissions and performing major vehicle repairs.
Now 70 years old, he is not going to rebuild himself.
“I still have a friend in the business and I can do some work at other stores,” Redenius said, noting that he has access to a facility to do transmission work.
He plans to dismantle what’s left of the repair shop, clean up the land and put it up for sale.
After 44 years of working on this corner lot, Redenius said it was depressing to watch it go up in flames.
“And, kind of a shock,” he said. “I was maybe planning to sell him or keep him to play, but that option disappeared.”
Redenius said he really appreciates the efforts of the firefighters.
“They did a good job, given the circumstances,” he shared. “I’ve known a lot of them for years. They are friends.”
Redenius watched firefighters battle the flames from the city store parking lot across the street, and in a small town like Fulda, he was not left alone.
“I had a lot of other people coming up to me,” he said. “Their biggest concern was whether I was inside the building when it happened.
“I just appreciate everyone feeling bad for me. They all expressed that – everyone,” he added.
Redenius had no vehicles inside the repair shop at the time of the fire.