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.

Comments (6)
  1. Yvonne Schroder says:

    That is very tragic that the library burnt down, ifs been there for many years and like the others have said, it was used for access to a computer, for a program for
    the kids to learn about other things and many others, and to just sit down and read
    a book or magazine.

  2. M. says:

    Has anyone set up a program to accept donated books yet? I’d send some if I new where to ship the books.

  3. J.Rust says:

    The Cosmos Library was a Resource Center that will be greatly missed by adults and children in our communtiy. Benjamin Franklin invented the practical and economic idea of lending books, now we have the priviledge of borrowing internet too. We’ll wait and pray to see how we can help, if this loss in our communtiy can be replaced. Fundraiser/ Volunteer time, donating videos and books.
    From Resident; Rural Cosmos

  4. Anne McGill says:

    They have insurance, right?

  5. Andrew says:

    It was insured I believe, however many items will not be able to be replaced. almost all of the towns historical items were inside of that building, along with books that have been there since the library was opened.

  6. c breimayer says:

    I just heard about this and have tears in my eyes…The library was such an instumental part of the town and my children and I LOVED spending time there and we spent many hours …I’m so sorry for the loss! We only lived there for a little while but,we’ve missed Cosmos terribly over the years since we moved away.