Throwback Thursday - J. C. Penney building goes up in flames - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Throwback Thursday - J. C. Penney building goes up in flames

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History Center of Olmsted County History Center of Olmsted County
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    Each Thursday on NewsCenter Today is Throwback Thursday. With the help of the History Center of Olmsted County, we're taking a look back at different moments in time from our area.

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -

At the time it was considered one of the most disastrous fires in Rochester's history. This week we're taking a look at the aftermath of a fire that destroyed the J.C Penney Company store in downtown Rochester 60 years ago.

On November 17, 1956, at 6:55 p.m., smoke was seen coming out of the back of the store at 1st Street and South Broadway.

A fire had started in the basement, and although the fire department arrived at the scene quickly, the blaze eventually moved to the upper floors and caused the roof to collapse. 

This photo from the History Center of Olmsted County is from the day after, as onlookers stare in disbelief at what's left of the building.

Though the building was gutted, whatever merchandise could be salvaged was put on sale at the fairgrounds a month later, in a sale that drew hundreds and required police officers for crowd and traffic control.
 

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