Community recalls memories of fishery business destroyed in fire

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"That's when it got dark, then got worse," said Madison Hogue of Pepin.

She was able to capture a piece of Pepin history on her phone as it went up in flames Friday night.

Start to finish - her vantage point a little too close for comfort. She and her family were able to see everything from their kitchen window.

"It was just kinda scary because it was just a little smoke and then it started progressing," she said. "There was black smoke and flames all over the place."

Firefighters from four area towns battled the blaze for 12 hours, finally wrapping up just before 5:00 this morning.

Pepin Assistant Fire Chief Steven Juliot says one person was inside at the time but they were able to get out and call 911.

A Pepin firefighter was also hurt while battling the flames when a large amount of snow fell on top of him from the roof. He was taken to an area hospital, treated and released.

The cold weather made it tough for firefighters.

"As you put your heated mask on and get into the building the mask fogs up, so it makes it hard to see, plus it's black smoke," said Steven Juliot, the Assistant Fire Chief in Pepin.

News of the fire has been tough for the Hogues. The business was actually owned by their family for about 70 years before they sold it.

"My dad's told me a lot of stories and it's sad knowing its gone now," Madison Hogue said.

She says several people have driven by to see what is left of the fishery. Robert Church, who lives a few blocks away, was one of them.

"A lot of good memories of friends I worked with here back in the 60's, and we all had good times," he said.

Those memories of "what was" is all that is left.

"It was just something to do in the summer, Hogue's treated you good when you worked here and like I say a lot of good memories here," he said.

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