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Published April 20, 2010, 09:12 AM

Southeast Minnesota town marks plant fire anniversary

ST. CHARLES, Minn. — Residents of St. Charles have marked the one-year anniversary of a fire that destroyed the southeast Minnesota town’s largest private employer.

ST. CHARLES, Minn. — Residents of St. Charles have marked the one-year anniversary of a fire that destroyed the southeast Minnesota town’s largest private employer.

Seventy firefighters from St. Charles and surrounding towns battled the fire at meat processor North Star Foods on April 17, 2009. The fire forced the city’s 3,500 residents to evacuate, but only one firefighter had a minor injury and no one was killed.

Saturday’s commemoration at City Hall was low-key, which is the way firefighters wanted it. Mayor Bill Spitzer says firefighters’ attitude is that they were just doing their jobs.

Spitzer says firefighters from all departments “just did an outstanding job.”

North Star Foods has decided not to rebuilt its plant in St. Charles. The plant employed 250 people.

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