In the Midst
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Museum Staff, "The Fire Chief's Worst Fire," Firefighters to the Rescue A Century of Fires in Cokato, 1896-1996 (Cokato Historical Society, 1996) 39-40.
Cokato Hotel Fire, June 8, 1977.
Being a volunteer fireman for 31 years is quite a record. Lyle Severson became a fireman at the age of 23 at the urging of his father-in-law, Eldon Wessman, who was a fireman. He served as chief from 1976 to 1981. As long as he is able to pass the yearly physical, he wants to continue on the department, especially since he and Alvie Cole are vying for a friendly record of service.
His biggest challenge was the Cokato Hotel fire. The alarm came in about 2:30 a.m. on June 8, 1977. By noon the structure was ready to collapse. Firefighters were on the scene until that afternoon when the scene was turned over to investigation by the state fire marshal's office. It was a traumatic time since five lives were lost. He knew the victims as good old guys who lived in the only affordable housing for single people at the time.
Article by Cokato Museum Staff
In the early 1970s, Highway 12 gained another commercial building, 525 Cokato Street West. Since opening its doors on Monday, February 22, 1971, the building has housed four different businesses throughout its existence, each a part of the food industry. These include the Norseman Restaurant, Daniel's Family Restaurant, The Red Goat Bar and Grill, and The Bait & Hook.
Mike Worcester, "Lost Cokato: The Chicken Shack," In The Midst Of, Cokato Historical Society (October, 2012) vol. 32 no. 4.
In June 2000, a building moving company arrived in town. Their goal that day? To pick up and haul off a long-standing piece of the town’s history. On that day, the building which had housed the Little Chicken Shack was taken away.