Locally loved Rohler Rink burns down overnight

Locally loved Rohler Rink near Austin caught fire late Saturday night.

At 10:48 p.m., the Brownsdale Volunteer Fire Department responded to the building at 316 Market Street Southeast after receiving several calls of flames coming from the roof. Brownsdale requested assistance from Austin while en route, and the help of Adams, Dexter and Rose Creek for more water. The blaze roared for hours until firefighters managed to extinguish it at about 4 a.m., according to Brownsdale Fire.

Despite emergency services’ best efforts, the entire rink and its contents are considered lost.

The rink was built in 1960 — and has since maintained its retro vibe — and was more than two-thirds of a football field in size. The family-run operation boasted original vinyl records passed down generation to generation and had replaced the traditional hardwood floors in 2006 with tempered masonite floors to avoid road rash and ensure smooth skating.

The building was unoccupied during the fire and there were no civilian casualties. Two Brownsdale firefighters did sustain injuries: One was treated on-scene for smoke inhalation, and a second was taken to Mayo Clinic Hospital Medical St. Mary’s Campus for non-life-threatening injuries due to a fall while performing water shuttle operations.

The dollar amount of damage isn’t known, but the community is mourning the loss.

The fire’s cause is under investigation by Brownsdale Fire, the Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Mower County Sheriff’s Office.