ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Fire destroys Menno’s Open Door Cafe, damages two others

MENNO -- The cause of an early-morning fire that left a Menno business completely destroyed and damaged two more businesses is under investigation by the state fire marshal.

3262644+040417.N.DR_.MENNOFIRE1.jpg
Officials work the scene of a fire at the Open Door Cafe Monday morning in Menno. (Caitlynn Peetz/Republic)

MENNO - The cause of an early-morning fire that left a Menno business completely destroyed and damaged two more businesses is under investigation by the state fire marshal.

The Menno Fire Department was dispatched to the Open Door Cafe at approximately 3 a.m.

When firefighters arrived on scene, they found flames in the diner’s kitchen area, according to Menno Fire Chief Jai Walter.

Crews were able to contain the blaze to the cafe, located at 212 S. 5th St., but adjoining businesses Cutting Edge Salon and Bierle Insurance LLC sustained significant smoke damage.

The fire’s cause did not initially appear to be suspicious in nature, Walter said, but the state fire marshal was expected to be on scene Monday afternoon to continue the investigation.

ADVERTISEMENT

Thirty-one-year owner of the business Jerome Hoff said he was planning on closing the Open Door Cafe this summer to retire. So, while the loss stings, Hoff was in relatively good spirits late Monday morning and joked about an early vacation.  

“It’s sad but sometimes things happen that are out of your control,” he said. “I was planning on selling it and would have probably made more money that way and saved some of the memorabilia. But, for now, we’ll just wait for the fire marshal, then start cleaning up and moving on.”

Menno residents called the loss of the cafe “significant,” noting there few restaurants in town, but an area businessman is in the process of opening a cafe in town.

Crews put out what they called a “difficult” blaze late Monday morning, but Walter anticipated some to stay on scene throughout the evening to monitor hot spots and ensure it didn’t reignite.

And in an effort to preserve water for Menno residents, fire crews shuttled water from Menno Lake, Walter said.

“We haven’t had a structure fire like this in probably more than five or seven years, maybe longer, so that comes with its own challenges,” Walter said. “Otherwise, it’s been pretty run-of-the-mill and we’re just doing our job.”

More than 50 firefighters from the Scotland, Lesterville, Menno, Freeman and Yankton fire departments responded, as well as the Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Office, Menno Police Department, Menno Ambulance and Yankton County Emergency Management.  

ADVERTISEMENT

Related Topics: FIRES
What To Read Next
Throughout the county party election season, stretching from mid-November to the end of January, delegates have succeeded in changing the makeup of key county parties, like Minnehaha and Pennington.
Members Only
“In our industry there aren’t a lot of young people in it. I like the fact that there are a lot of young people in agriculture here,” he said of the Mitchell area.
Members Only
After the departure of longtime superintendent Marje Kaiser and the hiring of Dan Trefz, who recently resigned, advocates say the specialty school needs help from lawmakers to reach its past heights.
Over the past year, the city has been mulling over bringing a secondary water source to Mitchell – a move Mayor Bob Everson said is aimed at positioning the city to grow.