AUSTIN, Minn. – The recovery process is moving slowly for the Mayor of Austin and his family after their home was destroyed by fire on July 18.
Mayor Tom Stiehm says they’ve been living in a hotel since the blaze, but plan to move to a new location this week where they will stay until they get a permanent home. Stiehm says they would like to rebuild their home in the 500 block of 15th Avenue SW, but they’re still considering their options. He says rebuilding could take six to nine months.
Stiehm says this experience has been emotionally hard, “but what are you going to do?” He says the bright spot has been the fantastic response of his community. Stiehm says it’s raised his “awareness of how nice people are”.
Stiehm, his wife Sarah and one of their dogs escaped their home when the fire broke out. Another dog perished in the flames.