Carlton Lee. "It Was The Night The Bank Burned." Cokato's First Century (Cokato Historical Society, 1979) p. 35.
"I hear a fire siren!" A Cokato fireman was sitting down to a Christmas Eve supper in 1935. It was a blustery night. A snow-clad gale howled out of the northwest. As the night wore on the temperature was to drop to ten degrees below zero. Fire had started in the basement of the Community Drug Store, located next door to the First National Bank building, facing Third Street. George Butcher, who operated a restaurant south of the bank corner, facing Broadway, heard sounds of explosions. Through a window he saw smoke pouring from a basement window of the drug store. He phoned in the fire call.
For a time the fire seemed to be minor. However, flames crept upward into the two-story structure. The fire licked its way around the fire wall between the drug store and the bank building, spreading into the bank structure. The Dassel Fire Department braved the cold and drove six miles to lend a hand. It was a long, dreary night for the bone-chilled firefighters. Some fought the flames from the roof of the adjoining Mabusth building. At dawn they looked upon an ice-coated ruin. The fire had gutted the bank and drug store and also the second floor offices of Dr. Thompson and Dr. L. Hendricks. The apartment of Mr. and Mrs. Norm J. Blaha, who had recently moved to Cokato, was a victim of the flames. The next spring and summer a one-story building was erected to replace the old structure.
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