No injuries were reported after a fire raced through WD's Bar and Grill and an adjacent apartment in Mazeppa early Sunday morning.
The Mazeppa Fire Department responded to calls at 3:44 am, according to Brandon Goranson, Mazeppa Fire Chief.
"My neighbor upstairs, came down, pounding on the door, I didn't think nothing of it, but 'who is this guy pounding on my door at 3 in the morning?', anyway he did it again, and I went to the front door and I noticed that all this area back here was lit up by these fuel tanks," said Harland Tweed, a tenant in the burned apartment building.
Tweed is one of two tenants in the apartment and was a resident for 12 years and says the building appeared to be fully engulfed.
"All I was able to do was get out of my shorts, get my jeans and my shirt on, and I actually ran out in my bare feet," he said.
Monica Hayden lives down the street from WD's.
"I was just awake and I saw a big orange fireball reflecting from my bedroom window," said Hayden. "I've never seen anything like it"
She says she rushed outside to warn neighbors about the fire, moments before the town's electricity went dark.
"It was just very loud and chaotic, it was just crazy, very frightening," said Hayden.
Local residents say the three-story building was constructed in the 1900s, one of the original buildings in town. The bar was on the first floor, the two upper levels were vacant. Locals say before that, the building served as a hotel.
"I was just talking to some older people and they were talking about their past dances in there and, it's just all history.".
When firefighters responded to the call, their initial concern was the flammable materials behind the building.
"The biggest hazard we have is the bulk fuel storage, in the back of WD's, just a couple hundred thousand gallons of LP and gas back there," said Chief Goranson.
Firefighters from Mazeppa, Pine Island, Zumbrota, Oronoco, Pine Island, and Zumbro Falls worked together for more than five hours to get the blaze under control.
"It takes a lot of manpower, a lot of fire trucks and a lot of water down here to get this going," he said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.