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Woman to create museum display of Exira fire, asks for pictures & videos

Caretaker Judi Nelson at Audubon County Courthouse Museum in Exira, IA

Do you have pictures or videos of last week's massive fire in Exira, Iowa?

If you do an Exira woman wants them. She will be putting together a display of the fire for the town's museum, something she hopes will eventually bring healing to those who live there.

Judi Nelson said, "This is going to change the way Exira looks when you drive through forever."

It was just last Friday when the small town lost several buildings in a huge fire.

Nelson said, "This is big. This is really, really big for the community."

Nelson has lived in Exira her whole life and is now the caretaker of a museum in town. When the fire happened she says her emotions were everywhere.

"It went from extreme sadness that our town was experiencing loss of businesses, loss for those families...as the day went it also turned into an extremely humbling, heartfelt day as you saw donations pour in from literally across the country...you see firemen from 50 miles away coming and giving up their work."

Now she wants to capture all that happened during that life-changing day and eventually display it at the Audubon County Courthouse Museum in Exira.

Nelson said, "I just think history's important. You learn from history. You look back on history.”

Since the fire happened, Nelson says she’s seen a lot of wonderful pictures and great video on Facebook.

"The more we can gather now and put it together the sooner we have it; the sooner our historical archives will be put together.”

Nelson says she doesn't know what the display will look like, but she does have an idea of where she'd like it to be: in the first room of the museum so everyone will see it.

Nelson said, "I think in time when they look at it they'll be that sadness and the loss of the community, but hopefully we can bring out also what good has come out of that...I think this could also bring a little healing for people."

Nelson says she hopes to have a display of the fire ready for the Fourth of July next year.

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