abc
QUICK LINKS:

Neighbors Roll Up Sleeves to Help Kendall's Smoke House

Updated: 05/17/2014 10:53 PM
Created: 05/17/2014 6:58 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
tdill@wdio.com

Neighbors in Knife River broke a sweat to help clean up the remnants of the fire damaged Russ Kendall's Smoke House on Saturday. The owners were thankful and said it will get the store open sooner than they expected.

Most of the family business went up in flames last Sunday leaving the owners without a livelihood.

“You can't sleep, you're up all night, you don't feel right when you're here, you can't even put a sentence together from start to back. We're traumatized, both the wife and I,” Gordon Olson said.

Olson said the fire was ruled accidental, but even with insurance the family does not have much money to rebuild. The business has served tourists and locals for nearly a century, and over 20 residents pitched in on Saturday to salvage what is left.

“It's just such a wonderful feeling and the sense of community I never even realized that was there. Gifting financially and gifting their time and the sweat equity to try to help us get back in and back running,” Olson said.

Volunteers said the smokehouse was tied to the commercial fishing heritage of Knife River and the business is a symbol of of the small town on Superior's North Shore.

“I think we all recognize that, to many people, Knife River is Kendall's and Kendall's is Knife River,” Paul von Goertz said.

Everyone pulled together to help out a friend and a neighbor, but the volunteers said it was not completely selfless.

“A little bit of selfishness on our part. We want some good smoked fish this summer and this is where we get it so a little bit of motive there,” Carol Ojard Carlson said.

Olson said the storefront was saved from the flames, but volunteers got dirty cleaning up lingering smoke damage.

“It's extremely labor intensive, and without this volunteer help I just don't know what I'd do,” Olson said.

He did not have a timeline but hoped to reopen the store soon while smoking fish at another facility. He said that was something he couldn't imagine after the fire, and it wouldn't have happened without a helping hand from his neighbors.

“It gives me hope,” Olson said.

The neighbors have also set up a benefit fund to help the owners with rebuilding expenses. Donations can be made with the Two Harbors Federal Credit Union at 218-834-2266.

Front Page

  • Hawks Heading Back to the State Title Game

    Hermantown defeated St. Cloud Apollo in the State A Semifinals to return to the title game for the sixth straight year.

  • State AG's Office to Take on Hibbing Discrimination Case

    A state agency says the Hibbing school district is failing to protect students, and has asked the state Attorney General's Office to deal with the controversy surrounding a school administrator...

  • Itasca Co. Sheriff's Department Employee Charged

    A woman who works for the Itasca County Sheriff's office has been charged with two felonies, related to an alleged incident that involved other office personnel.

  • Cloquet Officer, Nurse Killed in Head-On Crash

    An off-duty police officer and a nurse were killed when their vehicles collided in a head-on crash in Cloquet Thursday night. The Minnesota State Patrol identified the victims as 54-year-old Fay Dahlman of Alborn, Minn., and 49-year-old Mark Laine of Saginaw, Minn.

  • Gov. Dayton Wants to Cut Standardized Tests by a Third

    Gov. Mark Dayton wants to cut the number of standardized tests for Minnesota students by a third. The Democratic governor says teachers spend too much time administering and preparing students for those tests. He wrote in a letter to lawmakers Friday too much testing stifles teachers' creativity and makes them less effective.

 
Advertisement