Two-and-a-half years after a fire destroyed a large chunk of the business district in a small southern Minnesota community, Governor Mark Dayton and others gathered in Madelia Tuesday afternoon to talk about the successful recovery effort.

Dayton visited the community immediately aft5er the fire and explosion in February 2016 that destroyed seven buildings and displaced several businesses and said, “To see the transformation is just phenomenal and the stories of what people went through individually and as a group to make the decision to reinvest…is just really heartwarming.:

The buildings have since been rebuilt and filled with most of the businesses that existed before the fire and Dayton says, “It’s so impressive, what they have accomplished. You know two-and-a-half years is a relatively short period of time to recover from a disaster of that magnitude.”

In 2017, Dayton and the legislature approved a request for $1.7 million to help Madelia return to normal.