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‘We’ll get our chins up and try again.’: Businesses plan to rebuild after Detroit Lakes fire leaves little to salvage

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 6:06 PM CDT
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DETROIT LAKES, M.N. (Valley News Live) - Emotions are still raw tonight for three business owners in Detroit Lakes after a fire left their shops a total loss with smoke and water damage.

It happened last Friday afternoon just before 3 p.m., when fire crews say an accidental blaze started outside the upstairs apartment unit in the 800 block of Washington Ave.

Officials say the blaze spread quickly due to the dry conditions and the flammable, vinyl siding.

“Just something you don’t think would happen to you,” Shannon Brogren, co-owner of the Pink Buffalo said.

Shannon and his wife Teresa’s antique and collectibles shop has only been open for four months.

“We were just starting to get a lot of repeat customers and things were starting to go really good,” Brogren said.

It’s a business the couple says they put two years of hard work into as they built their collection of one-of-a-kind pieces that are now filled with water and imprinted with black smoke.

“If we would have had time, we could have gotten more of our valuable stuff out because none of our merchandise is insured because it’s secondhand stuff so it’s pretty much a loss. I walked through here this morning and looked at the stuff and my stomach dropped,” Brogren said. The couple estimates only about 10 percent of their store’s items can be salvaged. They estimate their losses to be near $50,000.

Next door at Mattson’s Barbershop, Alex Lindsay and his mom were in the middle of haircuts when an officer notified them of the fire upstairs.

“The sirens were going and I didn’t think to grab anything. I thought it would be a small fire,” Lindsay said. “I never got to finish my haircut, so sorry to whoever that was.”

A decades-long icon to downtown Detroit Lakes, Lindsay, and many in the community say it’s hard to see the shop in such dire straits.

“I know that God will provide. He always has and always will,” Lindsay said.

Lindsay adds he and his mom took out the two 90-year-old barber chairs on Saturday, and while they’re still soaked, Lindsay says he hopes they’re able to be saved.

“They just stink really bad right now so hopefully they’ll work,” he said.

Both businesses say while it’s hard and it will take time, there’s no question they’re going to come back.

“We just have the best customers in the world,” Lindsay said.

“We’ll get our chins up and try again!” Brogren said.

“It’s hard to look at, but we’ll rebuild. I just know that God has a plan for everything. Even if it’s terrible, it will always work out for the better,” Lindsay said.

Officials say the entire building will likely have to be torn down, as the roof is unsalvageable. In the meantime, both businesses say they hope to find a temporary space to set up their shops while figuring out future plans.

A GoFundMe has been set up for both businesses. You can find them by clicking here and here.

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