WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 19, 2010, 09:11 AM

Family devastated by loss of Mills Locker Plant

New York Mills, Minn. (WDAY TV) - A fire has destroyed a thriving business in downtown New York Mills that supported a family of six. Flames shot through the Mills Locker Plant which had just been remodeled. The popular business was one of just a few meat markets in the area.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Firefighters from 5-departments tried to save the locker plant on New York Mills' main street, but the older building proved to be no match. Flames consumed everything in the building.

“All it needed was air to get moving. It was moving thru there fast. We dumped a lot of water on it, but we could not save it.”

The loss is especially tough on Whitman and Amanda Briard. A young couple with four kids, this business their only income. The business was going well. A remodel just completed. The building was full of processes meat. Family members of the couple say the couple is devastated.

“They did a fantastic job. It is just really sad. They have 4 young children and it is sad to see a family go thru this. It is a bad deal.”

“Quite a shock, I spent a lot of time with Whitman and it is pretty devastating for the family.”

Small town butcher shops used to be plentiful around Minnesota and so this loss is not only great for the Briards but for the town of New York Mills.

“Hate to see another business leave New York Mills; it’s a slowly dying town.”

The sign outside the burned out locker plant points to the couples resolve in getting through this and the town of New York Mills would like nothing more than to witness a grand re-opening of the locker plant soon. While the butcher shop was on one of New York Mills' busier streets, no other buildings were damaged in the fire.