“I sure didn’t think I was gonna cut them down this way,” the 59-year-old said.
Almost a dozen classic cars — more than half of Freij’s collection — were destroyed along with a pole barn in a fire that was discovered at about 3 a.m. Friday on his property just south of Red Wing. It was reported by a driver on Minnesota Highway 61.
Among Freij’s belongings that were destroyed were many antique cars aging back to the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. In addition to the classic vehicles, the pole shed stored antique gas pumps, memorabilia from car shows throughout the country and a variety of other nostalgic collectibles.
According to the sheriff’s office, the shed and everything in it was valued at between $500,000 and $800,000.
“Luckily, only one of my buildings went down,” Freij said.