Sep 12, 2013 at 1:04 pm
WAITE PARK, Minn. (KNSI) - For 18 years, Ron Krick has owned and operated Krick's Shoe and Leather Repair in a quiet Waite Park neighborhood. Now, he's trying to decide how - or if - he should begin again.
A fire began in Krick's shop around 2:30 on Thursday morning. Krick, who lives next door, says he and his wife were alerted to the fire by their dog.
"He was growling and barking a bit, so I got up to see what was happening," Krick tells KNSI. "I saw a light, and I thought it was a light I'd left on. Within seconds, I was able to focus better and see the flames coming out the back."
Krick says he called to his wife to call 911, while he attempted to quell the flames with a nearby garden hose.
Fire crews from both Waite Park and St. Cloud arrived within 15 minutes, and worked unil around 7 am to extinguish the blaze.
While the building and its contents are considered a total loss, Krick believes the situation could have easily become more devastating.
"It could have spread further, and maybe even started our house on fire," he says. "I do have some broken windows and melted shingles on that side, but had our dog Blue not woken us up, it could have been worse."
There's no estimate on damage yet.
Krick represents the fifth generation of his family to operate a leather repair business. He bought the business from his father in 1985, purchased his Waite Park home in 1989, and designed and built the heather grey, antiquated cedar workshop in 1995.
He says he's devastated by more than just the loss of the shop building; many of the items he'd been working on are of great value to his customers.
He's hopeful that when he's allowed back in the building, he'll be able to recover and restore some of them.
"It's my customers' stuff," he says. "Some of the things are personally valuable as keepsakes. I jsut hope not all of it is destroyed."
Krick's home is still without electricity. He says he's been uplifted by the generosity of his neighbors - many have offered Krick and his wife Carrie meals and a place to stay.
As for the future of Krick's Shoe and Leather Repair, Ron says he's still deciding if or where to rebuild, and says he'll be talking with customers and members of the community about that in the weeks to come.
Temp: 45°F (7°C)
Wind: 16mph SE