Box Elder VFD responds to single-alarm residential fire early Wednesday morning

BOX ELDER, S.D. — The Box Elder Volunteer Fire Department and multiple supporting agencies responded to a residential fire early Wednesday morning.

Shortly before 7:30 a.m., first responders were called to the 300 block of Hillview Drive in Box Elder for a report of smoke coming from a residence. Upon arriving at the scene, first responders found a single-story occupied residence with a free burning fire and moderate smoke condition. Crews were able to confine the fire to the structure and hold it to a single alarm.

No injuries were reported from the occupants or firefighters, however, with temperatures around five degrees, fire crews faced some challenges.

“Anytime you’re below 32 degrees, water freezes, and we’re recording temperatures here on the scene of five degrees Fahrenheit. We’re keeping the water moving trying to deal with that. But that is definitely a problem, creating ice on the ground etc., slips, trips and falls,” said Pennington County Fire Administrator Jerome Harvey.

In the past, the American Red Cross has been able to dispatch volunteers to provide items such as coffee or hot chocolate during cold days like this, but the risk of COVID exposure has temporarily paused those efforts.

“COVID has changed a lot of the procedures that we have to follow now. So, we try to put our volunteers at minimum risk. So we used to go out and try to serve coffee, hot chocolate those kinds of the things to the firefighters, but right now were currently on hold to do that just because we don’t want to expose anybody – either the first responders or our volunteers – to a COVID risk,” said Richard Smith, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Central and Western South Dakota.

Although the American Red Cross serving Western and Central South Dakota couldn’t provide those comfort items, they are helping the occupants of the home with any assistance needed.

For more information regarding the Red Cross and how you can get involved, visit them online here.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News