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Small Minn. Town Loses Iconic Library To Fire

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Gordy Leach Gordy Leach
Gordy Leach graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1974 wi...
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By Gordy Leach, WCCO-TV

COSMOS, Minn. (WCCO) — A small town west of the Twin Cities lost its main street icon Thursday.

The Pioneer Land Library in Cosmos, which has a population of 582, caught fire early Thursday morning. Firefighters arrived in short order, but there was not much they could do.

“We tried to do a front entry, the basement was gone already,” said Cosmos Fire Chief Jon Fruetel. “About 20 minutes later, the fire came through the roof, so we just hit it from the outside and tried to protect the other structure on the south side of the building.”

The library was a place where people gathered and served folks from town as well as surrounding farms.

“They had the reading program for the kids in the summer, there was story hour, also for the kids, a lot of people in town used the library both for reading and for internet access,” said Dianne McClain, a Cosmos bank teller.

That internet access is not always readily available in rural Minnesota.

The state fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.

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