Fire decimates Lead business, forces home evacuation

A structure fire in Lead destroyed one business and forced two individuals to evacuate their home.

LEAD, S.D. — The call came in around 8:40 Wednesday night.

“We were paged out to a report of smoke coming from this structure here and loud popping noises,” said Ray Black, the First Assistant Chief with the Lead Volunteer Fire Department. “When units arrived on scene, we had a fully working structure fire.”

The cause is unknown, but its impact can’t be overstated.

Not even 24-hours later, a Lead business owner watched as his business on E. Main street burned to the ground. 

No injuries were reported, but multiple charred vehicles and tools were visible at the site where JDM Customs and Repair stood.

At one point, Highway 85 that runs through Lead was closed.

The business was in close proximity with residences, which gave firefighters another challenge, not to mention colder temperatures and winds. Regardless, they went to work. Two residents were evacuated from the area and have since returned to their home.

Mike Stahl, the Lead City Administrator and former firefighter in his own right, says that the firefighters did what they had to do to stop the spread.

“The buildings in that area are not real close together, but they’re closer than normal and easily could have spread to any of the other surrounding buildings, so I think the firefighters paid particular attention in protecting those as well once they understood that, you know, the building is on fire, we’re going work on that but we have to protect the structures next to it and they did a great job,” Stahl said.

As firefighters continue to battle the flames, NewsCenter1 had the opportunity to speak with owner Justin Millard, who says that once the fire is put out, he’s ready to start rebuilding.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News