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Redenius Repair destroyed by Tuesday fire in Fulda

Norm Redenius owned the shop since 1977 or 1978.

Redenius Repair, in  Fulda, was destroyed by fire on Tuesday.
Redenius Repair, in Fulda, was destroyed by fire on Tuesday.
Tim Middagh / The Globe

FULDA — A Fulda repair shop is considered a total loss following a Tuesday morning fire 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. Shop owner Norm Redenius had discovered flames inside the building when he arrived at work — and about that same time, another individual 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 requested to bring its ladder truck to attack flames between the original flat, rubber-coated roof of the building and the steel, monoslope roof that was added later.

Baumhoefner said the fire was fully involved when his department arrived on the scene, with heavy smoke venting from the main portion of the building. Murray County Sheriff’s Office deputies evacuated several homes downwind from the fire due to heavy smoke, and the city of Fulda hauled in sand to create protection around the city’s storm sewer intakes as a result of fluids and water flowing from the structure.

Crews spent more than four hours on the scene working to extinguish the blaze and hot spots, Baumhoefner said, adding that firefighters had to peel the steel roof back to get at the burning insulation and rubber roof below it.

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On Wednesday, the state fire marshal visited the site and determined the fire started in an electrical component on the south wall of the building’s addition.

Norm Redenius has operated a repair shop from the pair of buildings since the late 1970s, doing general automotive repairs, working on automatic transmissions and doing major vehicle repair.

Now at age 70, he isn’t going to rebuild.

“I have a friend in the business yet and may do some jobs out of other shops,” Redenius said, noting he has access to a facility to do transmission work.

He plans to dismantle what’s left of the repair shop, clear the lot and offer it up for sale.

After 44 years of work on that corner lot, Redenius said it was depressing to see it go up in flames.

“And, kind of a shock,” he said. “I was planning on maybe selling it or keeping it to play around in, but that option is gone.”

Redenius said he really appreciated the efforts of firefighters.

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“They did a good job, considering 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 shop parking lot across the street, and in a small town like Fulda, he wasn’t left to stand there alone.

“I had a lot of other people come up to me,” he said. “Their biggest concern was if I was inside the building when it happened.

“I just appreciate everybody feeling bad for me. They all expressed that — everybody,” he added.

Redenius did not have any vehicles inside the repair shop at the time of the fire.

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