Second major fire in downtown Winona in about a decade

The fire that destroyed at least 3 businesses in downtown Winona Friday is the second major downtown fire in about a decade.

The city’s mayor says in 2001, there was a fire on Center Street at Betty Joe’s tavern and Beno’s Deli which is about a block away from Friday’s fire. Those buildings were salvaged and Betty Joe’s was rebuilt.

“Fire started in the attic and burned through the roof and that was contained. There was a lot of water damage, but the buildings themselves were not destroyed. This is much different. These 3 buildings most likely were completely destroyed,” said Mayor Mark Peterson.

However, the mayor says he’s hopeful the two buildings that remain standing after Friday’s fire can be saved.